A Minneapolis woman flying in from the Far East was caught at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport trying to smuggle more than 33 pounds of opium powder in her luggage, authorities said Tuesday.
The find by officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection occurred Friday. According to the Hennepin County attorney's office, Ma Lee Vue, 35, arrived from Bangkok with a connecting flight in Tokyo.
Vue was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with three first-degree drug offenses. She remains held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
During baggage inspection, officers noted "an unusually large amount of dried beverage powder" belonging to the woman, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lee Takaki said in a statement.
The officers opened a packet marked as green tea mix and found a dry brown powder that tested positive for opium, Takaki said. In total, 33.5 pounds of opium — which most likely originated in Bangkok — was collected and seized, he said.