Shipping mix-up sends 14 lbs of pharmaceutical powder instead of kids' clothing
GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (FOX 9) - Matt and Maria Conlan's 11-year-old daughter was eager to try on some new outfits after ordering clothes online last week.
But instead of fast fashion, the family received something much different at their home in Grand Marais. Inside the shipment, not clothes, but a drum containing nearly 14 pounds of white powder in plastic bags.
"Somebody is going to be looking for this," Maria thought.
"This is the stuff that people kill people over. What is this and why is it addressed to my daughter?"
A packing list detailed it wasn't illegal drugs, but 5-fluorocytosine, a powerful pharmaceutical used to treat fungal infections.
Potentially deadly if ingested, the shipment from China was addressed to Conlan's daughter but was actually meant to go to a lab in Iowa.
"If she had placed her hand in it and then got it in her mouth and ingested any, she more than likely would have died," said Maria.
Lab technicians in Iowa got quite the surprise too when they received Conlan's clothes.
"From what I found online, 250 mg of this would cost $966, and we have over 13 pounds that was delivered to our daughter," said Conlan.
FOX 9 reached out to DHL, the shipping company in charge of sending the items.
They sent us the following statement:
"We can confirm that shipments were delivered to two addresses incorrectly after the shipping labels were mistakenly swapped at a processing facility. We have addressed this issue to prevent a similar error in future and are arranging for the shipments to be collected and routed to the correct recipients. We apologize to the recipients for any inconvenience."
That explanation is not good enough for the Conlans, who want to see more done to make sure this doesn't happen to any other families in the future.
"No warnings on the barrel and our kids open packages all the time," said Matt.
"This is scary. This is scary that this is going through the mail in this large of quantities...Why did nobody have to sign for it? Why were there no trackers for this amount of pharmaceutical medicine?" said Maria.