A record cocaine seizure at a Philadelphia terminal weighed thousands of pounds more than initially believed, the US Customs and Border Protection said.
The CBP initially said the haul weighed about 16 and a half tons, but the final weight tally is nearly 20 tons or 39,525 pounds, Casey Durst, CBP’s director of field operations in Baltimore, said in statement released Wednesday. The drugs have an estimated street value of $1.3 billion, he said.
Last Monday, authorities found the cocaine in seven shipping containers on the MSC Gayane, a 1,030-foot Liberian-flagged container ship, after it arrived at Packer Marine Terminal, according to a federal complaint filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The complaint accuses the ship’s second mate and another crew member of intentionally conspiring to possess a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to US jurisdiction.
According to federal investigators, the two confessed to their roles and provided operational details, which were included in an affidavit attached to the complaint.
The seizure is the largest in the CBP’s 230-year history, the agency said.