Big bong bust: CBP officers seize $156,000 in drug paraphernalia at nation’s northern border

Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at New York’s Alexandria Bay Port of Entry seized more than 2,400 glass smoking pipes in a commercial shipment. (Courtesy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. — October started off with a “bong” at the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry between the U.S. and Canada when officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized more than 2,400 glass smoking pipes, classified as drug paraphernalia, worth more than $156,000.

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On Oct. 4, CBP officers encountered a commercial truck that contained shipments manifested as “smoking glass ball water pipe.” The truck was first sent for a nonintrusive inspection and then to the warehouse for a physical exam.

During the secondary inspection, CBP officers discovered eight pallets of glass smoking pipes and an unlawful importation of drug paraphernalia. Further investigation revealed that information regarding the shipment’s country of origin contained marking errors and inaccuracies. A CBP import specialist further inspected the shipment, reviewed the manifest and determined that all 2,412 glass pipes were drug paraphernalia.

“Keen awareness by our CBP officers led to the discovery of this contraband,” said Wendy Ruttan, assistant port director of trade. “These officers take pride in continuing to prevent drug related items from entering our community.”

The entire shipment was seized for import violations.

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