PHILADELPHIA - U.S. authorities seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine Tuesday from a ship at a Philadelphia port, calling it one of the largest drug busts in American history.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia announced the massive bust on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, saying law enforcement agents seized about 16.5 tons (15 metric tons) of cocaine from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal. Members of the crew were arrested and face federal charges.
The drug seizure is the latest in a series of large cocaine busts along the East Coast.
*BREAKING NEWS* Federal authorities have seized approximately 16.5 TONS of cocaine from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia. This is the largest drug seizure in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. @ICEgov @CBPMidAtlantic @PhillyPolice @USCG— U.S. Attorney EDPA (@USAO_EDPA) June 18, 2019
In a March bust in Philadelphia, drug dogs sniffed out 1,185 pounds (538 kilograms) of cocaine worth about $38 million -- at that time the city's largest seizure of the drug in more than two decades.
In February, customs agents seized 3,200 pounds (1,451 kilograms) at the Port of New York and New Jersey with a street value estimated at $77 million.
That was the largest cocaine bust at the ports since 1994.
Television footage of the seized ship in Philadelphia showed its name as MSC Gayane.
Online ship trackers said it sails under the flag of Liberia and arrived in Philadelphia after 5 a.m. Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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