A cache of 16.5 tons of cocaine became one of the largest seizures in the United States. The amount seized has made a record in the history of the fight against drug trafficking in Pennsylvania.
The drug is believed to have entered the ship in Bahamas; however the ship had a logged route that included some South American docks, locations vulnerable to drug trafficking.
The 16.5 tons of cocaine were found at the Packer Marine terminal in the port of Philadelphia, a gateway used by international drug traffickers, but where no such quantities had ever been detected.
According to the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office, this is the largest seizure in the history of the Union’s second state.
According to local media ,the drug was hidden in seven containers and if it had reached U.S. streets, it would have been valued for more than $1 billion.
William M. McSwain, Pennsylvania District Attorney was the official spokesman for the entire case. The identity and nationality of the crew as well as the name of the ship and its owner has been preserved.
It is only known that the crew members under the protection of the authorities face federal charges while the investigation goes on.
The ship was inspected at the port’s Packer Marine terminal, according to official information.
According to a NBC News report, it has been established that authorities believe the ship, which made stops in South America before arriving in Philadelphia, may have been loaded with drugs at The Bahamas.
“This is one of the largest drug seizures in U.S. history. This amount of cocaine could kill millions – MILLIONS – of people,” wrote on Twitter William M. McSwain, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s.
This is one of the largest drug seizures in United States history. This amount of cocaine could kill millions – MILLIONS – of people. My Office is committed to keeping our borders secure and streets safe from deadly narcotics. https://t.co/nWPfgpGqYa
— US Attorney William M. McSwain (@USAttyMcSwain) June 18, 2019
The official expressed his office’s commitment to keep borders secure and streets safe from deadly narcotics.
On April 18, the Coast Guard reported the seizure of nearly eight tons of marijuana and cocaine valued at $62.5 million in five interceptions on eastern Pacific international waters.
And almost a month earlier, on 22 March, 12 tons of cocaine valued at $360 million had been seized in 12 interceptions.
The Coast Guard then noted that its men have increased their presence in the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Basin, usual areas in the “transit of drugs outside Central and South America,” as part of its strategy to combat drug trafficking in the hemisphere.
Translated by: José Espinoza