Philadelphia US CBP Intercepts 21-Pound Marijuana Load in UK-Bound Passenger’s Baggage

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly 21 pounds of marijuana on Saturday at Philadelphia International Airport that officers discovered in the baggage of a French woman traveling to London, United Kingdom.

While conducting inspections of baggage being loaded onto outbound international flights, CBP narcotics detector dog Gini alerted to one London-bound suitcase. Officers relayed baggage tag information to CBP officers working at the departure gate.

CBP officers located the woman in the gate area and escorted her and the suitcase to CBP’s inspection station. CBP officers examined the baggage and discovered 20 vacuum-sealed bags that contained a green leafy substance. That substance field-tested positive for marijuana.

The marijuana weighed a combined 9.36 kilograms, or 20 pounds, 10 ounces. It has a street value of about $20,000 in the U.S.

The woman was not criminally charged. CBP seized the marijuana and released the woman to continue her travel to London.

“Travelers who gamble by attempting to smuggle bulk marijuana through our ports of entry will find that Customs and Border Protection officers are hard to bet against. Smugglers should be aware that they may face severe consequences. Marijuana smuggling remains illegal and CBP will continue to seize it when we encounter it,” said Rene Ortega, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. 

High-quality, high-potency U.S.-farmed marijuana can fetch prices many times higher throughout other parts of the world. For example, the street price of this marijuana load in the United Kingdom would be about $200,000, and about $100,000 in France.

CBP officers have intercepted travelers illegally smuggling bulk marijuana loads. On April 24, CBP officers seized 72 pounds of marijuana in the baggage of an Ireland-bound man, and about eight pounds of marijuana in the baggage of a Bermuda-bound man on May 2. The firs man was criminally charged.