Customs and Border Protection officers in Philadelphia find soup cans, cakes filled with drugs

"Smugglers are creative. It's a cat-and-mouse game. But we're just as good," the assistant port director said.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Why would someone send a dozen cans of soup overseas from the Netherlands to Miami? International express delivery costs about $150.

It's a question that ran through the minds of Customs Border Protection officers. Answering it led them to a major discovery.

Inside were 12 tin cans that weren't full of vegetable medley, or a hearty noodle soup. Instead, Customs and Border Protection officers found a different liquid, of the deep purple variety - about three gallons of it.

Some of it was even leaking.

Photo provided by Customs and Border Protection



"The odor wasn't chicken noodle soup, the texture wasn't chicken noodle soup. So we tested it and it turned out to be MDMA. Street name ecstasy," said Ed Moriarty, the Assistant Port Director U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the package as one of the 22,000 which come through Philadelphia every day.

Traveling from the Netherlands to Miami, the 12 cans of contraband have a street value of more than one million dollars.

One day after finding the illicit elixir, it was a package of clothes and sweet cakes which caught the officers' eye.

"There were layers (of cake and aluminum foil.) Inside was approximately 10,000 pills of Tramadol," said Moriarty.

Photo provided by Customs and Border Protection



Tramadol is a low-level opioid. Each pill sells for about 5 dollars on the street. Despite hiding the pills under aluminum foil, scanners revealed the contraband.

"Smugglers are creative. It's a cat-and-mouse game. But we're just as good," said Moriarty.

Arrests in these cases are difficult. In the recent discoveries, the contraband packages came from overseas, the Netherlands and London.

CBP officers say the package itself can provide a wealth of information to help officers zero-in on criminal operations and intercept future contraband.
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