PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than one gallon of liquid ketamine Saturday in Philadelphia.
The parcel arrived from Poland as an express air shipment and manifested as dermatological skin and hair care products. The parcel, which was destined to Boca Raton, Fla., contained 10 plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles and body wash. CBP officers tested the contents with a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool and identified the contents as ketamine hydrochloride.
According to the DEA, ketamine is a Schedule III non-narcotic drug regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. Along with other club drugs, ketamine is popular among teens and young adults at dance clubs and raves. It delivers hallucinogenic effects and is sometimes used to facilitate sexual assault crimes. Ketamine, commonly known on the street as Special K, can induce a state of sedation, immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia as the user may have no memory of events while under the influence.
Ketamine also distorts perceptions, causes temporary paralysis and dangerously slows breathing, potentially shutting down body systems and leading to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
“Customs and Border Protection officers are experienced at detecting liquid ketamine and other dangerous drugs in a wide variety of concealment methods,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP’s narcotics interdiction mission is vital to protecting our nation’s citizens from the dangers of illicit drugs.”
CBP seized or disrupted an average of 3,707 pounds of dangerous drugs every day across the United States during fiscal year 2019 (2020 stats are pending). Learn more about what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2019.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.