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CBP seizes rare ‘green cocaine’ in Cincinnati

Shipments originated from Peru and Colombia

Agents occasionally find the green coca plant leaves during searches but rarely find green powder cocaine, authorities said. (Photo: CBP)

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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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]