A shipment with over 11 pounds of illegal ketamine – the largest amount of the substance the Port of Cincinnati has seen in the past year – was intercepted on Thursday, officials said.
The shipment was manifested as “anointing water” and individual bottles of the drug were labeled as “spring water,” according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati intercepted the package on Thursday at a local express consignment facility, the release states. The package came from Oron, Nigeria, and was destined to Victoria, Australia. Inside the package, officers found multiple bottles of clear liquid labeled as “spring water.”
Officers tested the liquid and identified the substance as ketamine hydrochloride, an anesthetic drug, the release states.
According to the release, ketamine has legitimate medical uses but is often misused for its hallucinogenic and sedating effects. A Schedule III non-narcotic drug regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, ketamine distorts perceptions, causes temporary paralysis and dangerously slows breathing and can be deadly in overdose.
The release states the drug is “typically” abused at raves and nightclubs and is “commonly used to facilitate sexual assault crimes.”
“This is the largest seizure of ketamine the Port of Cincinnati has had in the past year,” Cincinnati Port director Richard Gillespie said in the release. “Our current health and safety concerns have not detracted from our vigilance against bad actors who are trying to send illicit substances into and through the United States.”