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Border Patrol agents make single biggest cocaine seizure in Philadelphia in last 10 years

January 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Border Patrol agents make single biggest cocaine seizure in Philadelphia in last 10 years Photo: CBP

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Philadelphia made the largest local cocaine bust in 10 years after seizing 321.64 kilograms concealed inside a shipment of cabinets from Puerto Rico.

According to a CBP press release, the investigation, which is still active, was initiated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark’s Office, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

The cocaine weighed just over 709 pounds and had an estimated street value of about $22 million.

The cocaine shipment is CBP’s sixth largest seizure and 10th largest confiscation of any illicit drug made in the Port of Philadelphia.

Officials said Border Patrol agents first detected an anomaly during an inspection of arriving shipping containers at a seaport in Pennsauken, N.J. on, November 2nd.

CBP officials said Monday that Border agents in Philadelphia seized 709 pounds of cocaine back that was concealed in furniture shipped from Puerto Rico back on November 2nd, 2017

Officers transported the suspicious cargo to CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Philadelphia where agents emptied the contents of the container.

While conducting a detailed secondary inspection of the cargo, agents discovered numerous pieces of bedroom furniture and kitchen cabinets containing hidden compartments, which concealed 256 bricks of a white powdery substance that later field tested positive for cocaine, according to the news release.

CBP officers at the same seaport also seized a 30-pound cocaine shipment shipped from Puerto Rico that was concealed inside a wooden chest on November 28th.

The drug load was destined for an address in Cinnaminson, N.J. and had an estimated street value of about $900,000.

“Customs and Border Protection know that transnational drug trafficking organizations will take advantage of natural disasters, and in this case, an island struggling to recover from a crippling hurricane, to smuggle dangerous drugs to our nation’s mainland,” said Joseph Martella, CBP Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

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