5,400 pounds of kratom powder seized in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Federal officials seized 5,400 pounds of kratom powder contained in 71 shipments at a Cincinnati express-consignment facility. Kratom is a member of the coffee family, according to US Customs and Border Protection and it's native to Southeast Asia. It can act as a painkiller or sedative in high concentrations. While there are claims that kratom can treat morphine and heroin addiction and act as a painkiller, the FDA says it can cause a number of health problems including depression, aggression and hallucination. Kratom is already illegal in a number of countries. It's currently on the DEA list of drugs and chemicals of concern. "This is a classic example of a relatively new trend ahead of certain laws, and the substance has yet to be identified as a scheduled narcotic," said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie.There's no word of any charges filed in connection to the seizure.