Chicago CBP finds incendiary device in outbound mail
A Vietnam War-era military flare warning device was discovered on Nov. 3 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago in mail bound for Japan.
The military trip flare device was discovered in outbound mail packages and was manifested as a “military training dummie” valued at $55, said the agency. The package was being shipped from Missouri to Japan. Although CBP said there was apparently no harmful intent by the parties involved in the shipment, the device, a live phosphorous-based M49A1 flare was “rendered safe and destroyed” by CBP officers, U.S. Postal inspectors and the Chicago Police bomb unit.
CBP said prior to seizing the device, its officers spoke with the shipper, who said it was acquired at an estate sale and sold online. The case is under still under investigation, said CBP.
“In this instance, a military incendiary device was intercepted by CBP officers thus avoiding a potential catastrophic event,” said David Murphy, CBP director of field operations in Chicago.
The M49A1 trip flare is an early warning signaling device used to warn of infiltrating troops by illuminating the area surrounding the trip flare, said CBP. The trip flare can provide a light intensity exceeding 35,000 candelas for approximately one minute where it can reach a temperature of almost 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, said the agency.
CBP officers and agriculture specialists are stationed at international mail facilities located throughout the country. CBP conducts enforcement operations on international mail and is on the lookout for any type of contraband or prohibited items being shipped into or out of the U.S., said the agency.