Agents find $700,000 of opium in suitcases

November 20, 2008 1:27:32 AM PST
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport uncovered over 28 pounds of opium hidden in the walls of two pieces of luggage. The passenger transporting the contraband, a legal permanent resident of the U.S., arrived Monday at IAH from Istanbul, Turkey. The individual was arrested and turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on drug charges in connection with the find.

During the inspection process, CBP Officers physically examined the bag and detected an unusual thickness of the walls of the luggage. An X-ray image was obtained and anomalies were detected within the walls of each piece of luggage. The lining of the bags were probed revealing a brown powdery substance that tested positive for Opium. CBP estimates the street value of this seizure to be approximately $700,000.

"CBP is dedicated to protecting our nation's borders and upholding the laws of the United States," said Jeffery O. Baldwin, Sr., CBP Director of Field Operations, Houston. "This interception is a great example of our success in staying focused on terrorists and terrorist weapons as well as our traditional missions."