U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a cocaine load, with a street value of about $1.3 million, hidden in the technical space of a passenger airplane that arrived at Philadelphia International Airport from the Dominican Republic on August 12. No arrests have been made. An investigation continues.
CBP officers routinely examine aircraft spaces after flights arrive from overseas locations. During a search of the Santo Domingo, D.R., flight, officers discovered 16 brick-shaped objects concealed under a blanket in an avionics technical space. Officers extracted the bricks and took them to CBP’s inspection station after they completed the aircraft inspection.
Officers probed each of the bricks and discovered a white, powdery substance that field-tested positive for the properties of cocaine hydrochloride.
The cocaine weighed 18.894 kilograms, or a little more than 41 pounds, 10 ounces. It had a street value of about $1,330,000.
“Drug trafficking organizations work very hard to smuggle their dangerous drugs to the United States and Customs and Border Protection officers must be equally on point to intercept this community poison,” said Joseph Martella, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Philadelphia. “
During the three days leading up to the discovery, the aircraft made passenger service stops at domestic airports in New York City, Miami, San Diego, and Philadelphia before arriving from Santo Domingo.