Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a record $31 million worth of cocaine at the Port of Savannah.
Officials said that, on Oct. 29, CBP officers found an anomaly during a search of a vessel docked from South America. When officers opened the container, they found 21 duffel bags that contained a total of 818 bricks of a white powdery substance that later tested positive for cocaine.
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The cocaine weighed a total of 2,133 pounds and has a street value of about $31 million.
The container was being shipped from South America to Europe. The drugs were disguised as aluminum/copper waste and scrap.
Homeland Security Investigations agents continue to investigate.
"Drug trafficking organizations are relentless in their attempts to smuggle drugs into the U.S.," said Christopher Kennally, the area director at the Port of Savannah. "Through hard work, dedication and tireless efforts of Customs and Border Protection officers in Savannah, we will continue to hit back at the drug trafficking organizations by intercepting their dangerous drugs at our ports of entry before they can harm our communities."
The seizure is CBP's largest cocaine seizure at the Port of Savannah and marks CBP's fifth narcotics interception in the seaport during the past five months.
CBP's previous record 1,280-pound cocaine seizure occurred in May 2019. That cocaine, which was aboard a container being shipped from South America, had an estimated street value of about $19 million.
"In response to emerging narcotics smuggling trends and threats in the maritime environment, Customs and Border Protection has enhanced our enforcement strategy on targeting high-risk shipments from source narcotics nations that are either destined to ports in the United States, or that pass through sovereign United States waters," said Donald. F. Yando, the director of field operations in Atlanta. "The scourge of illicit narcotics is a very serious international health and security threat, and CBP will continue to partner with our federal, state, local and international partners by intercepting these dangerous drugs when and where we can."
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