Passenger heading to New Jersey from Mexico caught with vials of liquid opioid


PHILADELPHIA – A New Jersey man was arrested on April 11 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection after officers discovered a prescription pill cache in his baggage at Philadelphia International Airport.

Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division Troopers arrested Juan Jose Mora, 38, after CBP officers found 961 pills of an assortment of pharmaceutical medications in Mora’s baggage after he arrived on a flight from Cancun, Mexico.

The pills included Tramadol, Clonazepam, and Mirtazapine. Mora also possessed 17 vials of Tramadol solution. Tramadol is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, Clonazepam treats panic attacks, and Mirtazapine is an antidepressant. All three prescription medications are classified by the DEA as Schedule IV drugs.

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“This is an extraordinary amount of prescription medications, including an opioid that some consider as a potential gateway drug to more dangerous narcotics,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Customs and Border Protection along with our law enforcement partners remain committed to intercepting narcotics smuggling efforts to help keep our communities safe.”

Federal law permits travelers to carry personal use amounts of prescription medications, generally considered to be up to a 90-day supply. Additionally, the medicine containers must be labeled with the doctor’s prescription, or the traveler must possess a copy of the doctor’s prescription if the medicines are in an unlabeled container. Learn more at Traveling with Prescription Medications.

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CBP seized an average of 3,677 pounds of dangerous drugs every day across the United States last year. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2020.