A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer shows a human brain found in a Canada post shipment in this handout photo. U.S. border officials say they’ve seized a human brain that was found in a Canada Post shipment originating from Toronto. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says officers found the brain in a clear glass mason jar during a routine check at the crossing between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., on Valentine’s Day. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer shows a human brain found in a Canada post shipment in this handout photo. U.S. border officials say they’ve seized a human brain that was found in a Canada Post shipment originating from Toronto. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says officers found the brain in a clear glass mason jar during a routine check at the crossing between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., on Valentine’s Day. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Unusual packages turn up at border crossings every now and then, a U.S. border official said Thursday, but it was still strange for officers to find a human brain in a shipment from Toronto last week.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment during a random inspection on Valentine’s Day, CBP spokesman Kris Grogan said.

The brain was packaged with bubble wrap and what appeared to be paper towel, Grogan said, but without any supporting documentation.

The only description along with the package — which originated in Toronto and was headed for Kenosha, Wis. — was that it contained an “antique teaching specimen.”

“It is a very unique case to open up a package with absolutely no documentation or anything and to find out that it’s a brain,” Grogan said in an interview.

“But I will say, nothing surprises us anymore on some of the things that we do find.”

The organ has since been put into quarantine while the agency investigates, Grogan said.

He said the agency can’t comment further until the investigation is complete.

“But there will be a final determination on what takes place with it,” he said.

Body parts must be registered and documented in detail with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before being sent across the border, Grogan said.

“People need to realize that there’s a lot of documentation that needs to be completed if you want to bring a specimen that has anything to do with the body,” he said, noting specimens like donated organs are frequently sent across the border.

He said a nearby border crossing in Detroit led the nation in handling biological parts.

CBP area port director Michael Fox said in a statement that the brain incident is “just another great example of just one of the many things CBP officers do to protect our nation on a daily basis.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

border agency

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is once again among the sector’s highest environmental performers in the Green Marine environmental certification program. (Photo courtesy PRPA)
Environmental excellence streak continues for Prince Rupert Port Authority

PRPA graded among the highest achievers in Green Marine program

Paving and sidewalk cost replacements being scheduled for 2021 are doubled that of 2019 but remain status quo for 2020 according to Prince Rupert chief financial officer, Corrine Bomben at a regular council meeting on Nov. 23. (Photo: K-J Millar/ The Northern View?
City begins to plan acquisition and construction for capital projects for 2021

Prince Rupert water, sewer, solid waste and paving are being scheduled for 2021

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor recieves prestigeous conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Most Read