A CBP drug dog named "Kary" alerted officials last Thursday to a shipment of cereal heading from Louisville to a private residence in Great Britain. When officers opened the box to take a closer look, they saw that the cereal contained more than hearts, clovers, stars, and red balloon marshmallow pieces.
They contained vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, CBP officials said in a news release.
"Drug Smugglers will go to any lengths to ship their narcotics in and out of the U.S.," the release stated. "Officers have found drugs hidden in car parts, religious paintings, tombstones, clothing…the list is endless."
CBP conducts inspection operations on both arriving and departing international cargo. While marijuana is legal in many U.S. states, the sale, possession, production, and distribution of the drug remain illegal under federal law.
Mailing a shipment of marijuana overseas is also illegal, authorities said.
"Our officers are very familiar with the many ways smugglers try to evade inspection," said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville.
"Officers learn to think creatively about where things might be hidden because drugs can be anywhere – inside books, auto parts, spools of ribbon, crepe makers, study binders, food, statues, photo frames – if there is space inside an item it could contain something illegal," Mahn added.
LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, the director of field operations in Chicago said the seizure last week illustrated CBP’s ability to detect and "intercept illicit narcotics at mailing facilities."
"The vigilance and expertise of the officers involved, along with the diligence of our canine partners, is commendable." Sutton-Burke said, according to the release.