Federal agents seize shipments of synthetic drugs at Cincinnati airport

This undated photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office shows fentanyl pills. Authorities say they've arrested Ryan Gaston, a man in a Cleveland suburb after seizing more than 900 fentanyl pills marked liked tablets of the less-potent opiate oxycodone. The Cuyahoga County medical examiner said that lookalike pills were likely to blame for some of the county's 19 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in January 2016. (Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office via AP)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal border protection officials say seized scores of shipments of synthetic drugs this month at an express consignment facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Agents with the Cincinnati office of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said Wednesday that they seized 83 shipments of drugs, including more than 36 pounds of a deadly fentanyl derivative, from March 6 through March 26. The agency’s statement says the drugs were seized at a DHL express consignment facility at the airport in Hebron, Kentucky.

Federal officials say the packages of drugs sent from China were destined for individuals in 17 states, including Ohio, and in Canada. They were listed in shipping documents as items such as “hardware nuts” and “snap hooks.”

Authorities say the investigation is continuing.

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