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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Announces Actual Weight of Record Cocaine Seizure in Philadelphia

Release Date: 
June 26, 2019

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PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) announced today that the final official weight of last week’s record cocaine seizure is 39,525 pounds, or nearly 20 tons.

One of seven containers that concealed a record 39,525 pounds of cocaine that CBP seized in Philadelphia June 18, 2019.The CBP and Homeland Security Investigations led multi-agency team continues to remove and scan all containers from the MSC Gayane, a 1,030-foot Liberian-flagged container ship. Once the containers are removed, the team will conduct a thorough examination of all spaces aboard the vessel in the search for any additional concealed cocaine.

CBP initially issued an approximate weight based on the number of bricks that authorities extracted from the containers, which was 15,582 kilograms. The final weight of the contraband is 17,928.21 kilograms, or 39,525 pounds, with a street value of nearly $1.3 billion.

“Today, I can officially report that CBP has seized a historic amount of cocaine, in fact, the largest cocaine seizure in our 230-year history, with a weight of 39,525 pounds and a street value of about $1.3 billion dollars,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “This is a momentous accomplishment for the CBP team here in Philadelphia – and highlights the importance of our critical homeland security mission.”

The multi-agency team initially detected anomalies in seven shipping containers the evening of June 16 that CBP x-ray examination confirmed June 17. Those anomalies proved to be the largest cocaine seizure in the 230-year history of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Read more about CBP’s record cocaine seizure.

CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo 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 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 mailto:Baltimore-recruitment@cbp.dhs.gov.

Learn more about CBP at CBP.gov.

Last modified: 
June 26, 2019