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BEST, CBP seize 109 kilograms of cocaine

NEW YORK – The New York Border Enforcement Task Force (BEST), working jointly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seized 109 kilograms of cocaine Jan. 5 during a routine inspection of a cargo container at the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island.

CBP officers were inspecting the container for contraband when they found several large duffle bags on top of cases of beer. A search of the bags revealed numerous brick shaped objects. The container, destined for Halifax, Canada, arrived in New York from Mexico. It had been transshipped through Panama. The contraband was comingled with a legitimate shipment of beer. The contraband tested positive for cocaine.

After CBP officers discovered the cocaine, the investigation was turned over to the task force, which is led by U .S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The more than 100 bricks of cocaine weighed 109 kilograms (approximately 246 pounds) and have a street value of more than $5 million.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation continues.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected weapons and narcotics smuggling and related information by calling at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.