$38M worth of cocaine seized in Philadelphia port, CBP says

Authorities made a hefty $38 million cocaine seizure on Tuesday, the largest for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Area Port of Philadelphia in more than two decades, officials said.

The drug haul was found during an inspection of imported shipping containers at the city’s seaport, CBP said in a news release Thursday. It was a multi-agency effort, led by CBP and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

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More than a dozen black duffel bags holding “a combined 450 bricks of a white powdery substance” – later confirmed to be cocaine – were located within one of the containers, the agency said. The drugs weighed roughly 1,185 pounds, they added.

“The shipping container commodity was natural rubber, which was laden in Guatemala,” the news release said.

Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore, hailed the team who conducted the apprehension.

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“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,” Durst said. “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.”

The cocaine confiscation is the largest for the CBP Area Port of Philadelphia since May 1998, the agency said.