BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Law enforcement officials seized 333 pounds of cocaine from inside a shipping container at the Port of Baltimore earlier this month, the largest such seizure U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have ever seen at the port.
Officials from federal and local agencies searched a container of beach chairs on a ship that arrived from China through Panama and found four black bags inside which contained 125 bricks of a white, powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine.
“We are very proud here at the Port of Baltimore,” Assistant Port Director for Tactical Operations Patricia Scull said. “Our team was fantastic, truly professional. It’s a record setter for us.”
The cocaine had a street value of $10 million.
“It could devastate this city,” Scull said. “We don’t know where the drug themselves were destined for, $10 million street value drugs hit the market, that’s a lot of damage it could cause.”
Officials said the shipment made its way from China and through Panama, up to the east coast, and destined for an address somewhere in Maryland.
The announcement comes just a week after a record-setting drug bust up I-95 in Philadelphia. About 35,000 pounds of cocaine was seized there, more than $1 billion in street value.
CBP agents said they were watching and taking notes in that case, which helped them to make the bust in Baltimore.
“As a result of the record seizure in Philadelphia by CBP, we started to pay a little closer attention to the transiting of vessels and containers through central and about America. We’ve always paid attention to those, but maybe a little closer since that seizure in Philadelphia.”
The administration announced the Port of Baltimore set a record with more than 10 million tons of cargo earlier this year.
The constant traffic makes weeding out illegal shipments even more challenging for border protection agents.
The previous record cocaine bust at the port was 311 pounds in April 2007. No arrests have been made so far, CBP said.