Mon | May 29, 2023

US Customs officers discover cocaine load on flight from Jamaica

Published:Friday | May 12, 2023 | 8:48 AM
Law enforcement officers discovered the cocaine concealed behind a cargo hold blowout panel, CBP said. - CMC photo

PHILADELPHIA, CMC – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says it seized over 12 pounds of cocaine on a flight from Jamaica on Thursday at Philadelphia International Airport.

CBP said the drugs, with a street value of about US$400,000, was on a flight that arrived from Montego Bay. Law enforcement officers discovered the cocaine concealed behind a cargo hold blowout panel, CBP said.

“CBP officers routinely examine aircraft spaces after flights arrive from overseas locations. During a search of the Montego Bay flight, officers discovered a draw-string bag adorned with the face of reggae legend Bob Marley concealed behind a cargo hold blowout panel,” the VBP said.

“From that bag, officers extracted five bricks of a white, powdery substance.

“Officers tested the substance with a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool and identified it as cocaine hydrochloride,” it added.

CBP said no arrests have been made, and that the cocaine was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations Philadelphia for further criminal investigation by the Border Enforcement Security Task Force that operates at the Philadelphia International Airport.

“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,” said Rene Ortega, Acting Area Port Director for CBP's Area Port of Philadelphia.

“It validates that transnational criminal organisations 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 said officers and agents seized an average of 2,895 pounds of dangerous drugs every day at the US air, land and sea ports of entry.

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