Inside one of the containers offloaded from the MSC Desiree, authorities discovered 13 large black duffel bags containing a combined 450 bricks of a white powdery substance. A sampling of that substance tested positive for cocaine.
The cocaine weighed 537.6 kilograms, or 1,185 pounds, three ounces, and has a street value approximately $38 million, according to CBP.
This is CBP’s fourth largest cocaine seizure in the Area Port of Philadelphia, and the largest since a 1,945-pound cocaine seizure in May 1998.
The shipping container commodity was natural rubber, which was laden in Guatemala.
CBP officers seized the cocaine and HSI is investigating.
Taking a half-ton of dangerous drugs out of circulation is a significant success for this collective team of federal, state and local law enforcement officers who work very hard every day to keep people safe. Customs and Border Protection remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners and to disrupting narcotics smuggling attempts at the Area Port of Philadelphia,
...said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore.
This multi-agency team on this operation included partner agencies Homeland Security Joint Task Force-East, US Coast Guard, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Philadelphia Police Department, Delaware State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Nether Providence Police Department, the Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, and the DEA’s Philadelphia Division.
On average, CBP seized 4,657 pounds of narcotics every day across the US.