SAVANNAH, Ga. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Port of Savannah seized a little more than 346 pounds of cocaine from a shipping container at the Garden City Terminal on April 14.
Officers from CBP Savannah’s Anti-Terrorism and Contraband Enforcement Team discovered 133 packages that contained a white powdery substance during inspections of shipping containers. CBP officers field-tested samples of the substance, which proved positive for the properties of cocaine.
The estimated street value of the cocaine is more than $9 million.
“Most successful narcotics enforcement operations are the direct result of solid teamwork. This significant cocaine seizure is a great testament to the dedication, perseverance, and resolve of our employees to keep these dangerous and deadly narcotics off of our communities’ streets,” said Lisa Beth M. Brown, CBP’s Port Director for the Area Port of Savannah.
This is the second large narcotics seizure in the Port of Savannah in the past year.
In November 2012, CBP seized 6,400 pounds of a leafy substance that was identified by the CBP Savannah Laboratory and Scientific Services as khat, a Schedule 1 narcotic. The khat was shipped in a processed state to preserve its freshness and was manifested as tea. The khat’s estimated street value was about $1.7 million. Several persons connected with the shipment were arrested.
Khat is a flowering shrub containing cathinone, and it is chemically similar to ephedrine and other amphetamines.
Cathinone is also often used as the key ingredient of recreational drug mixes commonly known as 'bath salts' in the United States. This was the largest single khat seizure ever in the United States.
Both the cocaine and the khat seizures remain active investigations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in Savannah.
CBP Officers in Savannah work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep the U.S. safe.
CBP routinely conducts random inspections operations on passengers, and on sea and air cargo and searches for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.
Click on Ports of Entry for more information on CBP’s border security mission.
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.