Shipment courier

Baltimore CBP officers seize a shipment of opium poppy pods destined for Cecil County, Maryland

BALTIMORE – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted a shipment of poppy pods in Baltimore on Wednesday destined for an address in Cecil County, Maryland.

Officers inspected the express delivery shipment, which manifested as “decoration” and arrived from the UK, and discovered three brown paper bags. Officers opened the bags and found a total of 13 pounds of poppy pods.

Opium poppy pods

Officers extracted and tested poppy seed samples, which revealed the presence of morphine and codeine. Morphine and codeine are opiates naturally present in the opium poppy.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, opium is a highly addictive, non-synthetic narcotic that is considered a Schedule II controlled substance.

Only licensed entities can legally import opium poppy and only from legitimate sources in regulated countries. For example, the pharmaceutical industry legally imports and extracts opioid alkaloids from mature dried plants for medical purposes. However, consumers are prohibited from importing opium poppy pods and opium straw, which is the poppy plant minus the seeds, and the cultivation of opium poppy in the United States is illegal.

CBP officers seized the poppies to destroy them.

“Communities across the United States continue to battle the opioid epidemic, and so Customs and Border Protection officers remain committed to intercepting shipments of opioid products, including in their raw form, every time we encounter them,” said Marc Calixte, CBP’s Interim Area Port. Director in Baltimore.

CBP seized 4,732 pounds of illicit narcotics at our nation’s borders each day in fiscal year 2021. Learn more about what CBP accomplished on “A Typical Day” in 2021.

CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, undeclared currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agricultural products, and other illicit products that could harm the American public, businesses Americans and to the security and economic vitality of our country.

Please visit CBP’s Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. For more information about CBP, visit

Follow the CBP Baltimore Field Office Director on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and the CBP Field Operations Office on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.