U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Philadelphia seized a Massachusetts-bound shipment of ketamine from Italy, officials announced Monday.
On June 10, Philadelphia CBP officers seized and examined the international air parcel. They then detected an anomaly during an x-ray examination. The box contained 36 metal tubes that each had a white substance inside. The officers tested the substance and identified it as ketamine hydrochloride.
The ketamine and metal tubes weighed a combined 13 pounds and four ounces. The shipment was destined for an address in Worcester, Massachusetts.
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Ketamine, commonly known by its street name as Special K, is a popular drug among teens and young adults at dance clubs and raves. The drug causes hallucinogenic effects, distorts perceptions, causes amnesia, temporary paralysis and slows down breathing, potentially shutting down body systems and leading to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. Officials also said the drug is sometimes used during sexual assaults.
“Customs and Border Protection officers are extremely skilled at detecting contraband even through the clever disguise of creative concealment methods,” Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, said. “CBP’s narcotics interdiction mission is vital to protecting our nation’s citizens and our communities from the dangers of illicit drugs.”