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Federal Authorities, Local Partners Seize 333 Pounds of Cocaine in Shipping Container

Release Date: 
June 25, 2019

Cocaine Seizure is CBP’s Largest in Baltimore

BALTIMORE – Federal authorities and local partners seized 333 pounds of cocaine from inside a shipping container during a multi-agency examination at the Port of Baltimore June 18. According to CBP records, this is the agency’s largest cocaine seizure in the Port of Baltimore.

A multi-agency team discovered four bags with a combined 333 pounds of cocaine inside a shipping container at the Port of Baltimore June 18, 2019.
Authorities found four cocaine-filled
bags inside a container of beach
chairs from China.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, and state and local partners participating in HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) examined a container of beach chairs that arrived from China through Panama. In addition to beach chairs, authorities discovered four black bags inside the container. The bags contained a combined 125 bricks of a white-powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

The cocaine weighed about 151 kilograms, or about 333 pounds, and has a street value of about $10 million.

CBP’s previous high-water mark for cocaine seizures in Baltimore was about 311 pounds from April 16, 2007.

“This seizure illustrates the complexities of Customs and Border Protection’s multi-faceted missions, from ensuring that imported goods comply with U.S. trade regulations to interdicting dangerous drugs that harm our communities,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “CBP officers remain vigilant at our nation’s ports of entry to significantly impact transnational criminal organizations that push dangerously unsafe consumer goods or dangerous drugs.”

The beach chairs were destined to an address in Maryland.

No arrests have been made. Homeland Security Investigations special agents continue to investigate.

“Because of the unique authorities and interagency expertise unified through BEST, HSI agents and CBP officers were able to quickly identify and interdict this significant amount of illicit narcotics,” said Cardell T. Morant, HSI Baltimore acting special agent in charge. “We will continue to disrupt any attempt to traffic illicit narcotics that pose a threat to our communities’ physical and economic health.”

The primary mission of BEST is to combat emerging and existing Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) by employing the full range of federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement authorities and resources in the fight to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle these organizations at every level of operation.

BEST special agents and task force officers investigate a wide range of criminal activity with a nexus to our land and sea borders, to include drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, gangs, money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, child exploitation, maritime smuggling, illicit tunnels and commercial fraud.

CBP officers screen international travelers and cargoes and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

On average, CBP seized 4,657 pounds of narcotics every day across the United States. Learn about what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2018.

CBP is hiring CBP Officers in Baltimore, Philadelphia and other locations across the United States! Learn more about duties, pay and benefits, and additional specialty opportunities of a CBP officer or visit Apply Now to start the application process. Read more about it here.  For local recruiting questions, contact

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Last modified: 
June 25, 2019