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CBP Agents Seize $4 Million in Cocaine Hidden in Sailboat

Release Date: 
January 12, 2010

Miami - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered 335 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a secret compartment on a sailing vessel. The drugs have an estimated value of more than $4 million.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Unit, in conjunction with Ft. Lauderdale police and the Broward County sheriffs office, conducted a boarding on a 32' sailing vessel Friday bearing the name "Sea Ya." While on board, CBP Agents discovered an area that appeared inconsistent with the surrounding area of the vessel.

Law enforcement officers lift the lid off a hidden compartment, revealing packages of cocaine.

Law enforcement officers lift the lid off a hidden compartment, revealing more that $4 million worth of cocaine.

The determination was made to drill a hole through the compartment to observe the unaccounted space. After drilling two holes through the bottom of the aft starboard deck storage locker, numerous square packages wrapped in plastic were readily visible. Subsequently, the inner deck box was removed revealing 335 kilo-sized packages of a white powdery substance which later tested positive for cocaine.

The master of the vessel was arrested at the scene and the owner of the vessel was subsequently arrested later that evening. The drugs and both individuals were turned over to ICE. The sailing vessel valued at approximately $100,000 was seized by the CBP Ft Lauderdale Marine Unit.

CBP's Office of Air and Marine protects the American people and critical infrastructure by using an integrated and coordinated air and marine force to detect, interdict and prevent acts of terrorism arising from unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband moving toward or crossing the borders of the United States.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017