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Agents seize bongs at L.A. Harbor listed as Christmas ornaments

November 19, 2009 |  2:14 pm

BigbongCustoms officials at the Los Angeles Harbor received a shipment from China listed as Christmas ornaments.

But when they opened the "presents" Tuesday, they found 316,000 bongs and pipes.

“They’re very colorful and big,” said Cristina Gamez, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Some of them are like 2 feet tall.”

Gamez said glass bongs and pipes, contained in nearly 860 boxes of cargo, are worth about $2.6 million.

The package arrived a month ago but was seized Tuesday at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex. The manifest listing the cargo’s contents said Christmas ornaments were inside. They were addressed to someone in L.A. County.

Gamez said no arrests have been made, and an investigation is pending. She said that it is illegal to import, export or sell drug paraphernalia in the United States and that all the items would be destroyed.

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: A bong seized by Customs agents at L.A. Harbor. Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement