Cincinnati border agents seize $704K in smuggled ketamine

Cincinnati border agents seize $704K in smuggled ketamine
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized ten shipments this month alone containing a total of over 106 pounds of smuggled ketamine, federal officials said Tuesday. The street value is $704,270. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized ten shipments this month alone containing a total of over 106 pounds of smuggled ketamine, federal officials said Tuesday.

The street value is $704,270.

The shipments were coming from locations throughout Europe and Africa and were destined to addresses across the U.S.

During routine inspections, officers decided to take a closer look at multiple shipments containing décor, clothing, spices, and protein powder, among other articles, federal officials said in a news release.

After testing bottles of nutritional supplements, unknown liquids, and bath salts with a handheld chemical analyzer, officers discovered liquid or powder ketamine in all of the products.

Ketamine has been used commonly in emergency and veterinary medicine, but it can be abused for its hallucinogenic and sedating effects (”special K”).

Ketamine distorts perceptions, causes temporary paralysis, and dangerously slows breathing, potentially shutting down body systems and leading to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.

Along with other club drugs, ketamine abuse typically occurs at raves and dance clubs, and is commonly used to facilitate sexual assault crimes.

“Our experienced officers continue to protect our citizens and their children,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers are exceptional at integrating and analyzing data to determine shipments that may pose a risk to innocent civilians. This level of skill allows them to excel at identifying and removing these dangerous drugs from the e-commerce supply chain.”

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