A human brain in a Canada Post shipment was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Feb. 14.
The brain was discovered when law enforcement stopped a mail truck for a random check after it crossed Blue Water Bridge, which connects Port Huron, Mich., and Sarnia, Ont.
CBP said that the package was sent from Toronto and was ultimately intended for Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kris Grogan, a spokesperson for CBP said that at the moment he can’t disclose who exactly sent it, the address of its final destination, or which human being the brain once belonged to.
“At this point we don’t believe a serious crime was committed, but we’re working with law enforcement agencies to understand what the brain was intended for,” Grogan said.
CBP were able to find the package during one of its random security checks. Packages that appear suspicious or bring concern to their drug and agriculture dogs are put aside and inspected for further details. The package was identified because it was marked with a “Antique Teaching Specimen” label.
Upon opening the package, officers found a Mason jar with a brain inside with a paper towel and bubble-wrap.
Human body parts or other specimen can be sent by mail over the border, but a necessary permit and documentation need to be obtained. The permits also need to be secured with ample time to give border security a warning.
“Individuals looking to import shipments such as this need to remember that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a strict Import Permit Program that must be adhered to,” said CBP’s area port director Michael Fox in a statement.
CBP is concluding its investigation at which point Canada Post might learn what it could have done in handling this situation.
“As per Canada Post process, all out-bound shipments are transported to the USA, where they may be reviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at either or both the border crossing and at the in-land USPS facility,” Canada Post told Yahoo Canada in a statement.
“If an item is seized, Canada Post is rarely advised of the seizure and/or what was seized.”
At the moment, the brain has been quarantined, as officials wait for a decision to be made by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Depending on the result of the ongoing investigation, CBP confirmed the brain could be destroyed, or returned to its sender who might also receive a fine.
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