PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Federal officers say they seized about $22 million of cocaine from the Area Port of Philadelphia last November, making it the largest illicit drug bust in the area in 10 years.
On Nov. 2, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 709 pounds of cocaine hidden inside false walls of pieces of bedroom furniture and kitchen cabinets shipped from Puerto Rico, after they detected something unusual about one of the shipping containers.
“Customs and Border Protection knows that transnational drug trafficking organizations will take advantage of natural disasters, and in this case an island struggling to recovering from a crippling hurricane, to smuggle dangerous drugs to our nation’s mainland,” said CBP Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia Joseph Martella. “CBP officers remain ever vigilant to interdict narcotics loads, and we are pleased to have stopped this deadly poison shipment before it could hurt our communities.”
According to federal officials, this is the CBP’s sixth largest cocaine seizure and 10th largest seizure of any illicit drug in the Port of Philadelphia.
As a result of the cocaine bust, federal officials have opened an investigation that is still active.