Written by CBP
Right Side News Reports
December 30, 2008
Miami - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered 373 pounds of cocaine hidden in furniture in a container at the Port of Miami Monday. Estimated street value of the narcotics is $5.5 million.
CBP officers inspecting containers at the Miami seaport were alerted by a CBP canine to a specific container loaded with furniture. The officers, attached to the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team, proceeded to examine the furniture and discovered three packages concealed within one of the pieces of furniture. One of the packages tested by the officers was positive for cocaine.
The container with the furniture arrived in Miami Friday aboard the freighter M/V Rio Para. The vessel's last port of call was Guyana.
"Our men and women are working diligently, especially during the holidays, in protecting our borders against all forms of terrorism," said Ruby Hogan, Port of Miami CBP director. "Stopping the flow of illegal drugs is one of Customs and Border Protection's primary missions."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are currently conducting an exhaustive investigation to apprehend the smugglers and bring them to justice.
"This is an outstanding seizure, and it was accomplished by one of our specialized Anti-terrorism Contraband Enforcement Teams at the seaport," said Director of Field Operations Harold Woodward. "We must not forget the great work our canine units perform at our seaports as well as the airports."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.