HEBRON, Ky. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized 530 pounds of synthetic drugs and controlled substances last month, including enough ingredients to make 87 million doses of fentanyl.
Agents executed the largest synthetic drug bust in Port of Cincinnati history on May 11 at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
This shipment, which came from China and was destined for Aurora, Colorado, contained prescription medications like sedatives, steroids, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications.
CBP Officers in Cincinnati made history today. They announced a seizure from May 11 that yielded more than 530 pounds of synthetic drugs and controlled substances. This is the largest synthetic seizure in the Port of Cincinnati’s historyhttps://t.co/8u13ru0KLE pic.twitter.com/fcE2oQO31H— CBP Chicago (@CBPChicago) June 26, 2020
At least 192 pounds of the substances could be used to make fentanyl.
Cincinnati Port director Richard Gillespie said the large shipment of fentanyl ingredients resulted in a large amount of arrests in Ohio and Kentucky.
Officers also found 156 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids (also known as Spice and K2) and 16 pounds of bath salts. Agents also seized over $1 million worth of counterfeits, including fake coronavirus tests and drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19.
In addition to the fake COVID-19 tests, investigators also found counterfeit high-end sneakers and handbags, including name brands like Air Jordan, Yeezy, Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch.
The shipment also had 162 pounds of unlabeled veterinary medicine, meat products and fruit peels, all of which could spread disease.
Gillespie said the pandemic has caused a surge in illegal shipments.
"We were hitting what we call peak volumes, which normally occur around December, November to December of each year,” he said. “We were hitting them through April, May, June etc.”
Authorities have not released specific information regarding arrests.