SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field operations officers seized Sunday 434 pounds(197 Kilos) of cocaine within 6 duffle bags inside two 2 separate containers. The estimated value of the seized contraband is $ 5.5 million.
During random inspection of containers from the vessel M/V Saint Nikolaos, 2 containers were selected for intrusive inspection.
When one of the containers was opened, 2 duffle bags were found with brick shaped objects inside. The other container was also opened and 4 military type duffle bags were found with bricks inside.
The 6 duffle bags contained a total of 172 bricks of field tested cocaine.
“International criminal organizations commonly use sea containers to conceal and move illicit narcotics, however, CBP officers will identify and locate these shipments preventing contraband to enter our country,” said Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents assumed custody of the seized contraband for further investigation.
CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk passengers and cargo, including advanced electronic information about every passenger and cargo shipment entering into the U.S. before their arrival, canine inspections and non-intrusive devices.
CBP Office of Field Operations’ dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband.
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.