Federal law enforcement officials seized 16.5 tons of cocaine on Tuesday in Philadelphia in what was the largest drug bust in the history of the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“Federal authorities continue to comb a cargo ship at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia,” CBS Philadelphia reported. “Investigators believe there is still a significant amount of cocaine remaining on the ship.”
Two people were arrested and charged in connection to the bust. Authorities say that the ship had previously traveled to the Bahamas, Panama, Peru, and Colombia.
In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said:
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations-led multi-agency inspection of shipping containers aboard the MSC Gayane resulted in a substantial cocaine seizure in Philadelphia on June 17, 2019. Authorities continue to process the seized cocaine and continue its inspection aboard the vessel in the Port of Philadelphia. Authorities have made two arrests, and will release a final tally and additional details when this operation concludes.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain tweeted: “This is one of the largest drug seizures in United States history. This amount of cocaine could kill millions – MILLIONS – of people. My Office is committed to keeping our borders secure and streets safe from deadly narcotics.”
In a statement, the Philadelphia mayor’s office said:
Every ounce of drugs we keep off the streets is helping to keep Philadelphians safe and alive. Mayor Kenney is thankful for the hard work of the Philadelphia Police Department, FBI, ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Coast Guard.