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Border Protection Dog Sniffs Out Almost $500K in Opium at O'Hare

By DNAinfo Staff on March 19, 2013 4:14pm

CHICAGO — Nearly $500,000 worth of disguised opium was seized by Customs and Border Protection officers at an O'Hare Airport mail facility Monday, officials said.

Border Protection "detector dog" Shadow sniffed out four separate international shipments of the opium, which was hidden in twigs, wood shavings and decorative cloth, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Shadow sniffed out about 15 pounds of opium shipped from Laos and destined for Wisconsin labeled as "Hmong Dresses." He also found nearly five pounds of opium-saturated cloth being shipped from Laos to Minnesota, the statement said.

Two shipments labeled "Traditional Medicines" and destined for Minnesota and Wisconsin from Laos contained about 11 pounds total of opium-saturated twigs and wood shavings, the statement said.

Shadow, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, is one of the top canines at the agency, and his "nose definitely know how to ferret out hidden drugs in imported cargo and mail," said William Ferrara, director of field operations.

He "works tirelessly keeping our country and communities safe from harmful drugs," Ferrara said in the statement.