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Officials find opium disguised as drink mix in MSP traveler's luggage

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Officials seized 33.5 pounds of opium powder disguised as dried drink mixes from a passenger at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the airport discovered the drugs while inspecting a 35-year-old woman's luggage after she arrived in Minneapolis from Laos, via a connecting flight Tokyo on Friday, a news release says.

Officials noticed the woman had an "unusually large amount" of dried beverage powder. They opened a packet of green tea mix and found a dry, brown powder that tested positive for opium.

The passenger – Ma Lee Vue – was arrested and charged with three felonies in Hennepin County. The charges include importing controlled substance across state borders, first-degree sale of narcotic, and first-degree possession of a narcotic, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint says she was traveling from Bangkok, Thailand, with the luggage and the opium was disguised as oatmeal and dried cereal.

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