Don’t drop the soap: CBP seizes more than 50 lbs of meth infused into bars of soap

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CINCINNATI, OH – U.S. Customs and Border Protection managed to intercept two shipments of methamphetamine between May 20th and the 21st, with a combined weight of slightly over 50 pounds of the narcotic.

What made this seizure so unique was that the meth was said to have been emulsified into bars of soap prior to being mailed.

Many have likely heard of the coined expression “clean dope,” but this brings a whole new meaning to the expression typically used to remark on a street narcotic’s potency.

CBP officers who were stationed at an Express Consignment Operations hub in Cincinnati on May 20th had a canine that alerted on an incoming package that had originated from Mexico. When the officers placed the package through an x-ray machine, officers noticed a few inconsistencies with the contents inside.

When the officers opened up the package, what they found were what appeared to be some run of the mill bars of soap.

Except, when tested, they found that these seemingly innocent body washing products happened to have had meth infused into them. That seized package revealed to have contained 37 pounds of methamphetamine.

Soap
Emulsified meth soap bars seized by CBP – Courtesy of CBP

That package was said to have been destined for Atlanta, Georgia; but it’s safe to say that the intended recipient was cleaned out of the tainted cleaning product.

Yet, that wasn’t the last of the Irish Spring-Drug Ring shenanigans for the ECO hub in Cincinnati.

On May 21st, another package that derived from the same shipping address in Mexico contained some more of the drug-infused soap. This haul amounted to 13.5 pounds of meth seized by the CBP. This package happened to be destined to an address located in Minnesota.

The reported street value of the seized narcotics was said to be worth approximately $217,000.

Seems like this “clean operation” was successfully foiled thanks to the fine work of the CBP. Needless to say, there’s not enough soap one could lather up with to clean their hands when they’re doing dirt.

You’ve got to hand it to these drug runners and their creativity, but they’re eventually going to run out of things to hide drugs in. Wait until you hear about some of the others methods used to conceal narcotics.

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A monumental bust was achieved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection back in February, where over $18 million worth of dangerous narcotics were seized. Thanks to the stellar work performed the agency, over 1,000 pounds of drugs were prevented from flooding into the state of Texas.

According to a press release by the CBP, agents from the Office of Field Operations working at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted over half a ton of narcotics.

The drugs seized consisted of 895 pounds of meth, 202 pounds of marijuana, nearly 9 pounds of heroin, and just over 3 pounds of cocaine. From the 432 packages of various drugs recovered by agents, the estimated street value of the seizure totaled out to $18,418,500.

 

CBP seizes more than M worth of meth hidden in broccoli. But there's no threat at the border, right?
Photo of seized narcotics – CBP

The enormous bust took place on February 16th, after agents assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility noticed something odd about a trailer hauling a commercial shipment of fresh broccoli.

What prompted them to further examine this load of broccoli was that agents were able to notice out of place bundles among the cargo. This was achieved via non-intrusive imaging equipment.

This technology allows the CBP to use large-scale X-ray and Gammaray imaging systems to quickly and efficiently examine large cargo loads for suspected illegal substances.

Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, who oversees the Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas, had the following to say about the recent seizure:

“This was truly a notable seizure in the commercial environment. Our officers’ ability to maintain an excellent enforcement posture while keeping trade flowing and uninterrupted is one of our main priorities.” 

The CBP OFO appropriated the narcotics as well as the trailer used to transport the packages of them. The case is still currently under investigation and is being headed by the Homeland Security Investigations.

This isn’t the first time that agents recovered over $18 million worth of narcotics either. At literally the same location in May of last year, CBP OFO agents at the Pharr International Bridge seized 929.5 pounds of meth in a single bust. 

That seizure took place specifically on May 17th, 2019. The similarities of these two busts didn’t just end with the street value of narcotics seized or the place where agents appropriated the drugs, either.

While the latest seizure was found hidden among a shipment of broccoli on February 16th, 2020, this 2019 load was hidden among a shipment of carrots. 

 

CBP seizes more than M worth of meth hidden in broccoli. But there's no threat at the border, right?
Photo of seized meth from 2019 – CBP

Last year’s load was detected by using non-intrusive imaging equipment in concurrence with the K-9 team working at the cargo facility.

The tractor/trailer in question hosted a total of 384 packages of methamphetamine. 

Then-Port Director Sylvia Briones had the following to say about the accomplishment at the time:

“This is truly a huge, notable interception of hard narcotics accomplished by our frontline officers in the cargo environment. Our officers’ mindset and dedication is genuinely apparent as evidenced by this outstanding seizure.”

You would think that the smugglers who lost their $18 million worth of product would have figured out by now that this cargo facility has a knack for locating drugs hidden within vegetable cargo.

Although, it’s preferable that cartels trying to introduce this poison into the country remain this oblivious. 


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