Feds seize $1 billion worth of cocaine in massive Philadelphia drug bust

Saul Bowman
June 20, 2019

They said the haul could have been worth more than $1 billion on the street.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that agents had seized 16.5 tons of cocaine from a cargo ship in Philadelphia.

The drugs were found in shipping containers on the MSC Gayane after it arrived at Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia.

Federal officials from the EPDA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Coast Guard were involved in the bust, along with Philadelphia Police, according to the EPDA.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania says that this is the largest drug bust in district history.

Those on the ship were arrested and federally charged, authorities said.


The drugs were transferred in containers aboard the ship. But the identity of the crew members was not immediately released. The agencies made two arrests in connection with the bust, which occurred at the Packer Marine Terminal.

Several crew members allegedly helped transfer bales of cocaine. "According to Tiasaga, each of these four crewmembers coordinated individual loads of cocaine".

An online court docket did not list attorneys for the defendants. The crew of the vessel is detained, they now face charges.

Federal officials in Philadelphia seized over 16 tons of cocaine from a cargo ship on Tuesday, calling it one of the largest drug seizures in USA history and the largest in the history of the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

The cocaine was seized from the ship MSC Gayane, which was traveling from Chile, Panama and the Bahamas before docking in Philadelphia's Delaware River. There, 3,200 pounds worth an estimated $77 million were found inside a shipping container.

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