33K Pounds of Cocaine Seized in One of Biggest US Drug Busts

Saul Bowman
June 20, 2019

More than 16.5 tons of cocaine were seized from a ship at a Philadelphia port on Tuesday in what some officials say was among the nation's largest drug busts.

The cocaine was seized at Philadelphia's Packer Marine Terminal, and the ship's crew was arrested, prosecutors said.

Two members of a container ship's crew face federal drug charges after agents raided their vessel at a Philadelphia port and seized about 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of cocaine.

The Port of Philadelphia said the situation was still developing and that it had no comment.

"This is one of the largest drug seizures in United States history", U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania William McSwain tweeted.

Federal prosecutors call it one of the largest cocaine seizures in US history.

In February, customs agents seized 3,200 pounds (1,451 kilograms) at the Port of NY and New Jersey with a street value estimated at $77 million. The Inquirer also reports that the bust happened after a member the Coast Guard found traces of cocaine on Durasevic's arms. The DEA official said the ship originated from Chile and traveled through Panama and the Bahamas. The amount of drugs seized came out to a total of $1 billion. However, photos of the drug bust suggest the name of the vessel is MSC Gayane. Shipping records showed the ship arrived in port early Monday morning. It's unclear if there are more drugs in other containers.

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".

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