Philadelphia CBP Officers Discover Nearly $400k Cocaine Load on a Flight from Jamaica

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over 12 pounds of cocaine on a flight from Jamaica that arrived at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday.

During a routine inspection of aircraft spaces following international flights, CBP officers uncovered a draw-string bag adorned with the face of reggae legend Bob Marley concealed behind a cargo hold blowout panel on the flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica on May 4, 2023. Inside the bag, officers discovered five bricks of a white, powdery substance, which was later identified as cocaine hydrochloride through testing with a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool.

The total weight of the seized cocaine amounted to 5.56 kilograms, or approximately 12 pounds and four ounces, with an estimated street value of about $400,000.

No arrests have been made at this time. The confiscated cocaine was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia for further investigation by the Border Enforcement Security Task Force operating at Philadelphia International Airport.

Rene Ortega, Acting Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Philadelphia, commented on the seizure, stating, “Customs and Border Protection officers conduct aircraft hold inspections of international flights every day, so this cocaine seizure is both rewarding and concerning for us. It validates that transnational criminal organizations may be focusing on importing narcotics through Philadelphia again, and it is further proof that our continued diligence is essential and necessary to help protect our communities.”

CBP officers and agents consistently work to combat drug smuggling, seizing an average of 2,895 pounds of dangerous drugs daily at various air, land, and sea ports of entry across the nation.

The CBP’s border security mission, led by officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations, involves screening international travelers and cargo, searching for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that pose potential harm to the American public, U.S. businesses, and national safety and economic vitality.

News Source : US Custom and Border protection Media release

By Joshi

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