Pounds of ketamine found stuffed in boxing mats headed to North Carolina, feds say

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Almost 7 pounds of ketamine — a dangerous “club drug” also sometimes used in sexual assaults — was found stuffed inside boxing mats heading from the Netherlands to North Carolina, authorities say.

When the shipment destined for a Durham address, described as “Boxing Wall Mats,” was X-rayed by Philadelphia Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Jan. 5, officials say they quickly noticed an inconsistency.

Officers opened the shipment, where they found two floor boxing mats, according to a Friday, Jan. 14 news release. They opened the mats and found four packages of “a white powdery substance wrapped in aluminum foil that were concealed inside the mats’ foam inserts.”

A test of the substance confirmed it was nearly 7 pounds of ketamine hydrochloride, officials say, and the drug was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for a continued investigation.

“Customs and Border Protection officers are highly skilled at detecting creative drug smuggling concealment methods, such as the ketamine we found in these floor boxing mats,” said Joseph Martella, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Philadelphia. “We want to assure the public that CBP remains committed to answering the bell to help keep our communities safe from the scourge of dangerous drugs.”

What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a “general, short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic effects,” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The hallucinatory effects can last for about an hour, and it can distort your senses, induce calm and relaxed feelings and provide pain relief, according to the DEA. It can also cause immobility and amnesia, and your body may feel like it lost control. Unconsciousness, depression, agitation, hallucinations and flashbacks are possible.

The drug — known by street names “Special K, Cat Valium, Kit Kat, K, Super Acid, Super K, Purple, Special La Coke, Jet, Vitamin K” — has also been used to facilitate sexual assaults.

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