PHILADELPHIA -- Federal customs officials in Philadelphia say they recently discovered more than 700 pounds of cocaine hidden inside bedroom furniture and kitchen cabinets that were shipped from Puerto Rico, making it the area's largest illicit drug bust in a decade.
The drugs, which had a street value of about $22 million, were seized in November by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers from the Area Port of Philadelphia.
The drugs were found hidden inside false walls of the furniture. More than 250 bricks of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine were concealed in the compartments.
"Customs and Border Protection knows that transnational drug trafficking organizations will take advantage of natural disasters, and in this case an island struggling to recovering from a crippling hurricane, to smuggle dangerous drugs to our nation's mainland," Joseph Martella of CBP said in a statement. "CBP officers remain ever vigilant to interdict narcotics loads, and we are pleased to have stopped this deadly poison shipment before it could hurt our communities."
The furniture was searched after officers detected something unusual about one of the shipping containers. An investigation is ongoing.