Savannah, Georgia-based Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers recently thwarted a narcotics smuggling effort resulting in the seizure of cocaine valued at $19 million.
Officers working at the Savannah seaport last November encountered a Cartagena, Colombia, originated commercial shipment of pineapples and, upon physical inspection, discovered 450 packages weighing 1,157 pounds concealed in the produce. The packages, upon a subsequent field test, were confirmed to have contained cocaine.
“This was an outstanding interception of narcotics by our CBP officers,” Lisa Beth Brown, Savannah CBP Area Port director, said. “This seizure is a positive enforcement action against drug smuggling organizations and highlights the important work our officers do each day to stop illegal activity at our borders and ports of entry.”
CBP officials said the agency conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the nation and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP seizes over 5,000 pounds of drugs on a typical day.
Statistics derived from fiscal year 2017 determined CBP personnel seized 5,863 pounds of narcotics; disrupted 222 pounds of narcotics; seized $265,205 in undeclared or illicit currency; and seized $3.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.