Night after night U.S. Customers and Border Protection Officers flag suspicious DHL packages that often turn out to be filled with synthetic drugs.
There is even a special cage for them that is so full Officer Abbud Abdal-Sami is having to use other areas to store the suspected drugs until he does further testing while in a hazardous materials suit. "The shipments come in as a blitz. They send as much of it as they could at once and it just so happened we ran across it. We collected as much of the items as we could."
Abdal-Sami points out synthetic marijuana confiscated in a Chinese cat food bag, and two giant containers of GBL, the so-called "date rape drug."
The agents often get tips and do random searches but acknowledge they are not yet ahead of the curve. Chief Supervisory Officer Mike Finley says, "As we discover and work with the laboratories and discover new synthetic chemicals used for illicit chemicals, the perpetrators are changing the formulas, which makes it challenging."
Abdal-Sami even found packets of Viagra mixed with steroids and synthetic chemicals designed to give a high.
The frequency of synthetic drugs at the airport doesn't surprise Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan with the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition. He says this is how a drug dealer thinks, "I got a great chance of trying to go through FedEx or DHL just because of sheer numbers. Even though they are doing a great job. They're trying to inspect it. They're trying to block it. I have a great chance. I have an even better chance of just trying to ship it through the mail where they're not even inspecting it at all."
Synan says since the synthetic drug spike in Cincinnati in August, 2016, fifty to seventy people overdose a week and four to five of them die.