A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

U.S. Customs intercepts cocaine being shipped through NKY facility — concealed in women’s shoes

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered 21 pounds of cocaine, concealed in a shipment of ladies’ footwear transiting through a local express consignment facility in Northern Kentucky.

While searching incoming freight from Bogota, Colombia, during routine operations, “Betty,” a CBP drug-sniffing dog, alerted to a shipment which was said to contain shoes.  Officers x-rayed the package, which appeared to be a large shipment of ladies boots, and noticed what appeared to be unusually thick arch supports within the shoes.

Cocaine found in women’s shoe shipment. (U.S. Customs)

Upon closer examination, they found multiple rectangular black packages in hidden compartments cut into the soles beneath the arches. The packages contained a white powder that tested positive for cocaine, with an estimated value of $478,000.

The shipment was being sent to a private home in Haverstraw, New York.

CBP Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie, who oversees operations in Northern Kentucky, noted, “Our officers and canine teams are part of the best frontline defense in the world. They are exceptional at what they do.”

With more than 1,500 teams, the CBP Canine Program is the largest and most diverse law enforcement canine program in the country.  As well as its own enforcement efforts, the program also supports canine training initiatives and serves as a resource center for a multitude of domestic and international law enforcement partners, and its graduates consistently excel in the field and in competition.

The CBP says cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive stimulant.

Abuse of the drug can lead to paranoia, exhaustion, heart conditions, convulsions, stroke and death. It is classified as a Schedule II stimulant under the Controlled Substances Act, which tightly regulates its use.

Customs and Border Protection officers conduct their operations at ports of entry throughout the United States. They regularly screen arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products.

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