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CBP Officers Intercept $8M Worth of Cocaine in a Shipment of Tires

Release Date: 
August 25, 2015

LOS ANGELES—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex intercepted and seized more than 424 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of tires originating from South America. The estimated street value of the confiscated cocaine is $8.08 million.

424 Pounds of Cicaine Intercepted at LA/LB seaport

424 Pounds of Cicaine Intercepted at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport

“Without any doubt, this is one of the most significant narcotics interception in recent years at our nation’s largest seaport,” said Carlos Martel, CBP Port Director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport. “I commend the extraordinary commitment and dedication of CBP officers whose vigilance resulted in this successful seizure.”

On August 22, 2015, CBP officers conducting enforcement operations using non-intrusive inspection (NII) technology on containers onboard a vessel that arrived from South America spotted an anomaly in a container of tires.  

The NII equipment is like an x-ray that can detect anomalies in containers, such as items with unusual density or shapes. CBP officers identified an inconsistency within the NII image and upon opening the container found three large bundles, which held a total of 170 individual brick sized packages containing a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

“Narcotics interdiction remains a top Customs and Border Protection enforcement priority, and this case illustrates how CBP officers use a combination of advanced inspectional skills and non-intrusive inspection technology to intercept dangerous drugs and to help keep our communities and citizens safe,” added Port Director Martel.

In fiscal year 2014, CBP played a critical counter narcotics role, seizing more than 3.8 million pounds of narcotics across the country. Seizures included cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, ecstasy, hashish, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and steroids.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017