A Border Enforcement Task Force (BEST) team in Baltimore comprised of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 332 pounds of cocaine in the port of Baltimore.
While conducting import trade enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers detected an anomaly during an x-ray scan of a container of beach chairs from China. Officers also observed that the original security seal lock was replaced with another lock. Officers discovered four large black duffel 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. The container transited through Panama before arriving in Baltimore. It was destined to an address in Maryland. No arrests have been made. HSI Baltimore has initiated an investigation.
“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.”
“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.”