MIAMI – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered over 797 pounds of cocaine hidden inside a 180-foot cargo vessel at the Miami River on Feb. 27. Based on information provided by the Miami Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), officers from the port initiated a search of the vessel and identified a compartment inside a ballast tank.
The compartment was not easy to find as it had been concealed under of a layer concrete. Upon drilling the compartment CBP officers discovered the presence of the cocaine and set out to access the space through the deck floor. CBP officers recovered a total of 310 packages of contraband worth over $9 million.
“Every single day the men and women of Customs and Border Protection work diligently to protect our borders and to prevent the importation of contraband through our ports of entry. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of Miami also works very closely with our law enforcement and security partners to disrupt and ultimately close off pathways through which narcotics are introduced into the United States,” said Diane Sabatino, CBP Miami Seaport Port Director.
“This is an outstanding example of the excellent work being performed by our officers in stemming the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. I commend the effort and dedication demonstrated by our frontline officers in securing our borders,” said CBP Director of Field Operations Miami Vernon Foret.
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.