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Agents Find Opium In Baskets From Laos

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Opium Basket

Authorities found these wicker baskets from Laos were filled with opium. (Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A drug-sniffing dog from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency found more than 8 pounds of opium hidden in wicker baskets at O’Hare International Airport.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Steve Miller reports


The K-9 officer discovered the drugs in baskets that were being held in the Foreign Mail facility on Monday. They were being mailed from Laos to the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.

The baskets that attracted the dog’s attention were packaged in parcels labeled “Handy Crafts” and “Sticky Rice Baskets.” The baskets were unusually heavy and thick, and X-rays showed them to have atypical densities, U.S. Customs said.

Upon cutting the baskets open, Customs officers found a black, tar-like substance wrapped in plastic.

The substance tested positive for opium, U.S. Customs said.

It turned out that opium was wedged in 13 baskets. The total weight seized was 8.73 pounds.

The shippers and recipients are under investigation, U.S. Customs said.

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