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From Teflon Skillets To Toys: Customs Finds Drug Smugglers Getting Creative At CVG

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
In the past month, Port of Cincinnati customs officers discovered $15,000 in undeclared currency in an action figure. Other creative transportation by drug smugglers into Cincinnati involved a nonstick skillet, speakers and medicine.

Under the watchful eyes of Port of Cincinnati officers and the nose of Bruno the dog, drug smugglers are upping their deceptiveness. It doesn't help that DHL is a major global hub at CVG and once this contraband comes in, it can go any place in the world.

Coming on the heels of cocaine-laced cornflakes, criminals just tried to conceal marijuana and methamphetamine in speakers and $15,000 in undeclared currency in an action figure at CVG.

Then there was cocaine hidden in the bottom of a Teflon skillet, and liquid meth labeled as equine medication.

Credit U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Meth in horse meds.

"Our officers are exceptional at detecting smuggled narcotics and other contraband," said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. "When toy action figures hold mantid egg cases or undeclared U.S. currency; horse medications turn out to be liquid methamphetamine; air pumps and speakers contain methamphetamine and marijuana; honey is spiked with Cialis and Viagra; and cocaine can be found coating cereal flakes or hidden inside cookware, officers learn to think creatively about the many ways smugglers try to evade inspection."

The $15,000 came from Mexico and was headed to Houston. The horse medication also originated in Mexico and was destined for Longview, Texas. The cookware came from Canada and was going to Australia.

Credit U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
The cookware appeared to have unusual defects in the non-stick lining, and when officers took a closer look, they found cocaine packed inside compartments in the bottom of the pans.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.