GA: Atlanta CBP Intercepts Ketamine Destined for Colorado

Ketamine street value estimated to be nearly 1 million dollars.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Atlanta intercepted nearly 100 pounds of Ketamine Hydrochloride, a dangerous substance often used as a club drug and in sexual assaults. On Tuesday, while inspecting arriving international cargo, officers took a closer look at two shipments arriving from Sweden.

CBP officers conducted an X-ray examination of a trash compactor being shipped to the U.S. and noticed an anomaly. Further inspection revealed numerous bricks of white powdered substance concealed in the appliance. In addition, officers conducted an X-ray examination of a second shipment containing metal thermos also presented an anomaly. Officers determined the metal drink cups had false bottoms concealing bags of a white powdery substance.

Both substances field tested positive for Ketamine Hydrochloride, a Schedule III non-narcotic compound regulated under the Controlled Substances Act.

“CBP encounters narcotics and other contraband concealed in an ever-changing variety of items,” said Clay Thomas, Atlanta Area Port Director. “Our officers remain vigilant with the use of specialized equipment and their experience to discover these concealment methods to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities.”

According to the DEA, ketamine, commonly known on the street as Special K, is used in both human and veterinary medicine to induce sedation, immobility, and relief from pain. It has recently been used by medical professionals for mental health and substance use disorders. Ketamine is abused for its ability to induce dissociative sensations and hallucinations, and it has been used to facilitate sexual assault. Overdoses can lead to nausea, irregular heart rate, muscle stiffening, unconsciousness, and respiratory failure leading to death.

“CBP’s narcotics interdiction mission is vital to protecting our nation and our communities from the dangers of illicit drugs.” said John Quintana, Assistant Port Director Tactical Operations Atlanta.

The 97 pounds of ketamine that was destined for Colorado with an estimated street value of $985,000. will be destroyed. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

CBP officers and agents seized an average of 2,895 pounds of dangerous drugs every day at our nation’s air, land and seaports of entry. See what else CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2022.

CBP’s border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

Press Release


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