United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says it broke a “cool trend” in drug secrecy after stopping four shipments of “secreted” cocaine inside the insulated walls of thermoses from Jamaica.
The agency said officers in Cincinnati, Ohio, New York City and Philadelphia intercepted four shipments of cocaine from the island who “similarly hid the cocaine in the insulated walls of four thermos mugs.”
It said the combined seizures weighed more than 2.5 pounds and had a street value of about $70,000, and that each shipment consisted of four souvenir insulated thermoses filled with tea bags, bagged spices or vaporizing ointment. The agency said the first of the four shipments was spotted on March 10 when officers in Philadelphia inspected the vacuum cups from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
“Officials found that each vacuum cup was filled with tea bags or spice bags and was unusually heavy. Officers drilled into the side of each cup and discovered a white, powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine.”
The agency said that shipment was destined for an address in Philadelphia and later discovered that three similar shipments from Jamaica were en route through express mail processing centers in Cincinnati, New York and Philadelphia.
All other shipments were intercepted.
“These cocaine seizures perfectly illustrate how Customs and Border Protection officials across the country routinely work together to intercept shipments of dangerous drugs, forcing traffickers to work hard to change obfuscation tactics and supply routes,” said Joseph Martella, CBP’s Philadelphia area port director .
“Our communities expect us to be vigilant against repeated smuggling attempts by drug trafficking organizations along our nation’s borders, and CBP pledges to do just that,” he added.
The agency said an average of 4,732 pounds of dangerous drugs were seized along America’s borders every day for the past year. CMC