Exporters in the illegal drug exchange continue to be more creative in their shipments, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Memphis continue to catch them.
In the last few weeks, officers have intercepted fentanyl in a picture frame, methamphetamines in a turntable, and even more meth in the linings of dresses.
Officers discovered more than 21 pounds of methamphetamines Aug. 28 in a shipment of dresses originating in Mexico. While inspecting the package, officers discovered anomalies that turned out to be a crystalline substance sewn within the lining of the dresses. A test revealed that the substance was methamphetamines.
Another shipment of meth was found that same day in a package containing a vintage turntable. The package, originating in Australia, appeared to be heavier than a turntable should be, so officers performed a closer inspection and found that the turntable had a fresh coat of paint. A canine was brought in, and alerted to the presence of more than 10 pounds of methamphetamines.
Three days later, the officers discovered fentanyl while inspecting a package sent from Mexico that contained a picture frame. The picture frame looked unusual, prompting a closer inspection that uncovered two plastic bags containing bluish green pills. A test revealed that the pills were actually a quarter pound of fentanyl.
“Smugglers are always trying to find innovative ways to fool us, but Memphis CBP officers are highly trained at detecting contraband in all forms of concealment. What may be out of the ordinary to some is just another ordinary day for us,” said Michael Neipert, CBP Area Port of Memphis Director.
All three shipments are currently being investigated.
Unusual shipments such as these are increasingly being intercepted. On Aug. 29 in Louisville, three pounds of fentanyl were discovered hidden in a shipment of corsets sent from Mexico. To date, more than 431,000 pounds of illegal drugs have been seized across the country.
The Area Port of Memphis, covering ports of entry throughout the state of Tennessee, is assigned to CBP’s New Orleans Office of Field, which includes ports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama.