Spring flowers may have just started to bloom in the US Northeast, but the drug smugglers all over the country have already shown their full colors. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported significant drug busts during the first week of March alone.
- Over a period of six days in late February and early March, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report noted that officers stationed at the Port of Cincinnati seized four shipments containing cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and undeclared U.S. currency, each smuggled in a unique way. Officers even found cereal flakes coated with cocaine.
- On three separate events on one Sunday in March, U.S. Border Patrol, Ramey Sector Agents assisted the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) with the seizure of 4,269 pounds (1940.4 kilos) of cocaine and arrest of two suspected smugglers near the east coast town of Yabucoa, PR.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Laredo Port of Entry in Texas seized methamphetamine that totaled over $24 million in street value.
- Texas’ Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than 1000 pounds of marijuana in a 24-hour period.
- U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents in San Diego, California, discovered 11 cellophane wrapped packages in a vehicle’s rocker panels. Inside was 5.25 pounds of fentanyl and 20.37 pounds of methamphetamines. The combined street value of the narcotics is $124,201.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge intercepted 132 pounds of methamphetamine totaling $2.6 million in street value.
And the drug smuggling was not just on land. On March 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) National Air Security Operations Center (NASOC) P-3 crews partnered with federal authorities to disrupt a narcotics smuggling attempt in the Eastern Pacific Ocean leading to the seizure of 1.7 tons of cocaine in February, denying transnational criminal organizations more than $58 million in illicit proceeds.
Protecting borders is especially difficult, but it is crucial to detect and deter dangerous substances before they reach the public. Customs and Border Protection organizations charged with stopping narcotics, new synthetic drugs, and other illicit substances from crossing borders need narcotics identification tools that provide immediate analysis at the port of entry. There are handheld Raman/FTIR instruments that provide highly accurate results directly at the scene, enabling officers, customs agents, border control, and other personnel to scan substances in a single, definitive test.
For rapid identification of suspected narcotics in the field, among the ships, at the airports, at the borders, there are handheld narcotics analyzers that utilize the well-established analytical technique called Raman spectroscopy. These tools can scan through transparent/translucent containers, plastics bags, and bottles for most samples. This instrument easily identifies narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and analgesics. It can analyze key drugs of abuse as well as common cutting agents, precursors, and the emerging threats of fentanyl, cathinones and bulk cannabinoids that we noted earlier — ensuring that Customs officials are always ahead of the curve.
The latest handheld chemical analysis technology includes a flexible tool to meet an agency’s chemical identification needs. By offering user configurable scan profiles and libraries, it tailors itself to an officer’s needs providing definitive results for confident and efficient decision making.
When it comes to drug trafficking and arrests, March certainly came in like a lion; but, unfortunately, there is no indication that the problem will be out like a lamb. However, with the help of the CPB and the latest technology, there’s a chance the lion can be tamed.
Resources: Visit our safe narcotics identification product comparison page so you can compare three types of chemical analysis tools.