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Approximately $22M worth of cocaine seized at Port of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Approximately $22 million worth of cocaine was seized at the Port of Philadelphia.

On November 2, a shipping container — from Puerto Rico — was transported from a seaport in New Jersey to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Centralized Examination Station in Philadelphia after officers detected an abnormality. Upon arrival, officers emptied the contents of the container and began to inspect them.

False walls were then discovered in numerous pieces of furniture bedroom and kitchen cabinets.

The false compartment concealed 256 bricks of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine, according to an official Customs and Border Protection release.

The cocaine weighed a little more than 709 pounds.

This is Customs and Border Protection’s sixth largest cocaine seizure, and the 10th largest of any illicit drug in the Port of Philadelphia, the government agency’s release says.

“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 Joseph Martella, CBP Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.  “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.”

Additionally, in late November, officers discovered a nearly 30-pound cocaine load at the same New Jersey seaport concealed inside a wooden chest. That load had an estimated street value of about $900,000, the Customs and Border Protection release states. That load was also shipped from Puerto Rico.