Agents Found 3,200 Pounds Of Cocaine Hidden In Fruit Crates
Authorities at the Port of New York and New Jersey have seized a whopping 3,200 pounds of cocaine, which authorities are calling the largest cocaine seizure at the port in nearly 25 years and the second largest of all time.
The drugs were discovered aboard a shipping container that came to the US from Buenaventura, Colombia, last month and have an estimated street value of around $77 million.
The massive amounts of cocaine was discovered at the port of Newark after authorities detected an irregularity in the pin used to close the shipping container doors, according to Special Agent Erin Mulvey with the New York division of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. “It was the pin that indicated something was off,” she told CNN.
Authorities opened the shipping container and were surprised to discover 60 packages containing a white powdery substance that later field-tested positive for cocaine. Mulvey said a legitimate shipment of dried fruit was behind the packages and that the drugs were likely loaded near a set of doors so as to be easily accessible to smugglers.
The ship was headed next for Antwerp next and Mulvey said it was not clear whether the drugs were intended to remain in the United States or to continue on to Europe.
Officials from Customs and Border Protection seized the drugs and turned them over to agents from Homeland Security Investigations. The bust occurred on February 28 and is now under investigation by the DEA and Homeland Security Investigations. No arrests have been made as of yet.
“This is a significant seizure. In fact it is the largest cocaine seizure at the Port of New York/Newark since May 1994,” said Troy Miller, director of CBP New York Field Operations, in a statement. According to Mulvey, the seizure in 1994 contained about 6,000 pounds of cocaine.