U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati prevented hundreds of pounds of green cocaine from being shipped across North America and Australia, authorities said Monday.
Fifty shipments of green powder cocaine were seized over four months, from Oct. 1, 2020, through last Sunday. The total amount of cocaine in all 50 shipments was 433 pounds.
Originating from Peru and Colombia, the shipments were headed to individuals across the U.S., Canada and Australia. Some of the shipments contained additional controlled substances such as powdered mescaline and peyote.
The shipments were packaged to appear like matcha or moringa powder, both popular nutritional supplements, CBP said.
“Our officers’ knowledge and exceptional training led them to realize these shipments needed further testing,” Richard Gillespie, CBP director for the Port of Cincinnati, said in a statement.
CBP agents said cocaine is produced from green coca plant leaves and then turned into the common white substance through a chemical process. Agents occasionally find the green plant leaves during searches but rarely find green powder cocaine, authorities said.
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