Source: U.S. Customs & Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Cincinnati, Ohio seized 530 pounds of synthetic drugs from China heading to Aurora, Colorado on May 11, according to a Friday press release. CBP says it’s the largest ever seizure of synthetic drugs in the history of the Port of Cincinnati.

The shipment contained over 160 packages addressed to individuals and businesses across the country, and included “regulated medications, agriculture and food products, intellectual property rights violations such as counterfeit handbags and shoes, and 530 pounds of synthetic drugs and controlled substances.”

“As the country’s first line of defense, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is tasked with protecting our nation’s borders as we face an ever-changing threat environment,” Robert E. White, Director of CBP Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office said. “Synthetic drugs threaten the health and safety of our nation’s citizens.

White added, “This seizure epitomizes the dedication of our officers and showcases the significant role they play in ensuring CBP’s strategy to combat the illicit flow of narcotics is successful.”

A significant portion of the drugs seized were found to be “precursors for fentanyl synthesis.” The drug is largely responsible for the thousands of lives lost to the nation’s opioid epidemic due to its high degree of addictiveness and potency.

“I want to commend everyone involved in making sure these deadly substances were never allowed to reach the streets of our communities,” said Cleveland Area Port Director Diann Rodriguez