DEA, CBP, and ICE Seize Over 2,000 Lbs of Pseudoephedrine
AUG 5 -- (Newark, NJ) - Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other federal law enforcement officials announced the seizure of over 2000 pounds of a List I chemical pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is an immediate precursor chemical that is essential to the production of methamphetamine. The shipment was seized on July 31, 2008 in the Port of Newark as a result of the agencies’ New Jersey MetroPort Initiative.
In March 2008, DEA New Jersey Division, in collaboration with CBP and ICE, commenced the MetroPort program in the Port of Newark to prevent List I chemicals or other contraband from being imported into or through the United States.
The shipping container, whose manifest did not identify the nearly one ton of pseudoephedrine, was identified by analysts and investigators from the initiative. The shipment was detained at the port, tested and subsequently seized by CBP and turned over to DEA. The container was shipped by a company in India and was destined for Central America after transiting through the Port of Newark. The chemical was believed to be destined for Mexico after passing through Honduras and Guatemala. Once in the hands of a drug trafficking organization, the pseudoephedrine could be used to produce the equivalent amount of methamphetamine.
DEA SAC Gerard P. McAleer stated, “This international shell game has high stakes. We will tirelessly search the world with our domestic and international partners to find the shell that contains the nut. We will prevent these rogue companies from supplying these dangerous chemicals to drug traffickers.”
“The combined enforcement efforts of Customs and Border Protection, DEA, and ICE, as part of the Metroport Initiative, have prevented the movement of an unlicensed and illegal shipment of pseudo ephedrine. The seizure of this precursor chemical is an important step in stopping the illegal production of methamphetamine destined for the United States”, said Adele Fasano, Area Director, CBP Field Operations, New York/Newark.
“The movement of illegal drugs through our seaports and ports of entry will not be tolerated and we will use all our investigative resources to stop this type of activity, regardless of whether it is carried out by air, land or sea,” said Kyle Hutchins, special agent in charge of the New Jersey ICE office of investigations.
To date, no arrests have been made and the investigation continues.