Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday announced the seizure of over eighteen thousand marijuana pipes and accessory paraphernalia in a cargo shipment attempting to cross at the Peace Bridge.
On November 5th, CBP Officers intercepted a shipment of 147 boxes of illegal drug paraphernalia destined to New York City.
The shipment, originating in China, was being hauled across the border manifested as glass vases and pipe accessories. The shipment was targeted by CBP Trade Enforcement Officers due to discrepancies in the shipping paperwork and was held for a secondary inspection. The boxes were offloaded and all items were inventoried and inspected. A total of over 16,000 marijuana smoking pipes were discovered and over 2,000 other accessory items were revealed.
The Port of Buffalo has executed approximately five other similar seizures in 2011, all goods originating from East Asia, with this case being the largest. In almost all cases, the quantity and value of the goods were misreported to evade duties and seizure. The shipping company on the November 5th case reported a total of 847 pieces worth approximately $4,900. The actual estimated value of all the discovered goods would have equaled over $139,000.
“It is not unusual to see certain goods falsely described on shipping manifests,” said Ann Marie Paul, CBP Assistant Director of Field Operations, Buffalo. “Our targeting officers diligently scan incoming cargo shipments for discrepancies.”
Homeland Security Investigation agents are pursuing Federal charges for violations of the Controlled Substance Act against the consignee. The seized items will be destroyed after the investigation is complete.