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Narcotic Concealment Methods in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Emergence of Counterfeit Tablets Containing Fentanyl in the United States

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With nearly 6,000 miles of border to patrol and screening passengers and cargo at over 130 airports, seaports, and land border crossings, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plays a vital role in the interception of narcotics and other illicit goods that are entering the country. With constantly changing drug trends, varying supply routes, and a wide variety of concealment methods, Customs Officers and Border Patrol Agents intercepting narcotics coming into the country is never a straightforward endeavor. Fortunately, advanced intel gathering and sharing allow new concealment strategies to be shared with CBP employees as well as other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Our first presenter will provide an overview of some of the more unique concealment methods utilized by drug traffickers, as well as some of the sampling and extraction methods used to prepare these submissions for analyses.

In recent years, counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl have become a persistent component of the illicit drug market in the United States. Foreign and domestic preparation of these tablets often occurs in austere conditions leading to inconsistent composition. This, along with the fact that these tablets often bear the markings of legitimate pharmaceutical products, makes these counterfeit tablets an unassuming but serious threat to law enforcement and end users alike. Our second presenter will discuss trends associated with counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will receive an overview of instrumentation used by officers to detect large scale concealments.
  2. Attendees will learn about large and small-scale drug concealments that have been submitted to the lab for analysis.
  3. Attendees will understand trends associated with counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl in the United States and recognize the threats associated with fentanyl in this form.

Date Created: April 26, 2022