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Baltimore CBP Employs Technology to Intercept $650k Cocaine

Release Date: 
February 11, 2011

Baltimore - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than 20 pounds of cocaine in a shipping container at the Baltimore seaport on Wednesday.

The cocaine, eight bricks in a blue backpack, was found in a container of steel parts that arrived aboard the 950-foot container ship Ital Lunare. The container was reportedly shipped from China through Panama to the U.S. It was one of 50 that CBP officers scanned from the M/V Ital Lunare.

The cocaine has a street value of about $650,000. No arrests were made.

20 pounds of Seized Cocaine

Photo Credit:Courtesy of Customs and Border Protection

"Customs and Border Protection officers may scan hundreds of containers without detecting a single anomaly. Making this cocaine seizure is both personally rewarding for our officers, and reaffirms our continued vigilance to protect American citizens against things that may do us harm," said Ricardo Scheller, CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore.

CBP officers turned the cocaine over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

CBP officers at our nation's 327 ports of entry conduct routine inspections on imports and exports to ensure commodities comply with numerous laws and regulations. Previously, that work was labor intensive. Officers had to physically open and devan containers for inspection. High-energy imaging technology allows CBP officers to "see" inside a conveyance and make an immediate decision to release the container or to conduct a more intensive inspection.

"Non-intrusive technology allows CBP officers a quick and clear picture of a conveyance's contents so that we can expedite release of legitimate commercial goods and detain anomalous containers for a more hands-on inspection," said Scheller. "Technology allows us to better manage risk and facilitate trade."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017