Tuesday, Philadelphia saw the most significant U.S. drug bust in history when U.S. authorities seized 33,000 pounds of cocaine from a shipping container port. Many are describing this find the biggest bust in America’s history. According to authorities involved in the seizing could be worth more than $1 billion on the street.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia revealed the successful find on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, stating that law enforcement agents discovered the cocaine on the ship at Packer Marine Terminal. Only two members of the crew were arrested and could face federal drug smuggling charges.
The report claimed that police with drug drugs invaded the massive ship early Tuesday afternoon, with officers scaling the container. The court documents stated that the biggest began Monday night and carried out into Tuesday.
An affidavit claimed that the crew members aided in loading the cocaine onto the MSC Gayane while it was still at sea off the coast of South America. According to an interview held Tuesday afternoon authorities claim that a total of 14 boats approached the vessel two times, with several crew members being spotted transfers bales of cocaine.
People arrested in the bust are The ship’s second mate, Ivan Durasevic, and another crew member, Fonofaavae Tiasage, who now face charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship. The court records online do not show that attorneys have been listed those crew members that await trial.
This drug bust is just one of many to happen along the East Coast, in March Philadelphia, drug dogs sniffed out 1,185 pounds (538 kilograms) of cocaine worth about $38 million, and at the time declared the most significant size the city has received in more than two decades.
In addition to the recent bust, last February agents seized 3,200 pounds (1,451 kilograms) at the Port of New York and New Jersey, holding a street value of $77 million, one of the most significant busts since 1994.
According to online ship trackers, the vessel stopped at the port in Philadelphia sails under the flag of Liberia and landed in Philadelphia around 5 a.m. Monday. Records indicated that the ship’s previous ports were the Bahamas on June 13, Panama on June 9, Peru on May 24 Colombia.
Colombia was determined to be the leading supplier of cocaine to the U.SS, according to the Federal authorities working on the case.
In a statement, The MSC Gayane’s owner, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co., announced it was “aware of reports of an incident at the Port of Philadelphia in which U.S. authorities made a seizure of illicit cargo.” The privately owned Swiss shipping company said it “takes this matter very seriously and is grateful to the authorities for identifying any suspected abuse of its services.”
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Philadelphia, spokesman, Patrick Trainor, stated that based on the current prices in the area of Philadelphia. The street value of the bust is $525 million to well over $1 billion.
Patrick Trainor, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Philadelphia, said that based on current prices in the area, the street value of the haul is around $525 million to well over $1 billion.
However, Tuesday’s seizure did not set a U.S. record, according to a 1989 bust in downtown Los Angeles profited almost 43,000 pounds (19,504 kilograms) of the drug.
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