Looks like someone was ready to party hard on the Fourth of July. According to reports, a ship with 20 tons of cocaine worth more than $1 billion that is owned by JPMorgan Chase was seized in Philadelphia on July 4th.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) made the announcement on Monday that nearly 40,000 pounds of cocaine inside several shipping containers onboard the MSC Gayane was seized.
The agents apparently boarded the ship back on June 17 and discovered the cocaine at that time.
“A seizure of a vessel this massive is complicated and unprecedented – but it is appropriate because the circumstances here are also unprecedented,” said William McSwain, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“When a vessel brings such an outrageous amount of deadly drugs into Philadelphia waters, my office and our agency partners will pursue the most severe consequences possible against all involved parties in order to protect our district – and our country,” McSwain added.
According to Fox News:
An estimated $1.3 billion worth of cocaine was taken from the ship — making it the largest cocaine seizure ever carried out by the CBP, the agency said.
On July 4, the CBP executed a warrant and seized the ship, finding the drugs. The MSC Gayane is the largest vessel ever to be seized in the agency’s 230-year history, Casey Durst, CBP’s director of field operations in Baltimore, said in a news release. The MSC Gayane is owned by JPMorgan Chase but operated by Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., Markets Insider reported.
The financial firm has not commented on the case, according to reports.
Federal prosecutors are working with the CBP, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local law enforcement to investigate who played a role in an alleged conspiracy by crewmembers and others to smuggle the record load of drugs through the U.S.
Durst said of the amount seized, “Laid end-to-end, all the bricks would cover a distance of about 2.5 miles.”
Apparently, it isn’t just illegal aliens from Mexican drug cartels bringing drugs into the States.
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