Atlanta, GA

Atlanta CBP intercepts smuggler carrying illegal ketamine

Sophie-Ann McCulloch

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has intercepted more than one gallon of liquid ketamine at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

The officers referred a 29-year-old man to be inspected after arriving on a flight from Bogota. The CBP officers found the man was carrying numerous bottles of bathroom products that raised further suspicion, which resulted in the officers having to test the liquids with a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool. The officers later identified the liquids as ketamine hydrochloride.

The smuggled ketamine amounted to just over 56 ounces with a street value estimated at $11,000. Atlanta CBP officers have handed over the individual to Clayton County Police Department to be legally prosecuted by the state. Nevertheless, the person arrested is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court and criminal charges remain allegations until proven otherwise.

“Our most valuable asset is the skilled CBP officers on the frontline. CBP remains dedicated in stopping illegal drugs before they reach our communities,” said Priscilla Frink, Atlanta Assistant Port Director.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes ketamine as a Schedule III non-narcotic substance regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. A popular drug, young party-goer commonly use them at dance clubs and raves. Ketamine is a psychoactive drug, meaning it has hallucinogenic properties and is often used to facilitate sexual assaults.

The drug is often called ‘Special K’ on the streets. It induces a state of sedation, immobility, pain relief, and amnesia, as the user or victim may have no recollection after being influenced by the drug.

The Customs and Border Protection operates at ports of entry throughout the US and is responsible for screening arrivals of international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons among other contraband. The CBP seizes an average of 3,677 pounds of drugs on a daily basis.

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