Customs credits agents for spotting 'anomalies' on ship, finding $4M in cocaine

June 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Wednesday that it discovered 450 pounds of cocaine worth $4 million concealed within a container chassis inside the vessel Blue Wave on Tuesday.

The ship had arrived in Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.


Roberto Vaquero, director of field operations for CPB in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, credited border agents with identifying anomalies on the vessel and eventually finding the cocaine.

"The significant seizure of 450 pounds of cocaine by our dedicated CBP officers in San Juan underscores our unwavering commitment to protecting our borders and keeping our communities safe," Vaquero said in a statement.

CBP officials said that, during a walk-through inspection at a pier, something just didn't seem right to agents as they examined the chassis of a container scheduled for unlading.

CBP said that, once officers spotted the "anomalies" on the vessel, it called for a more intrusive inspection of the site. It was there where they discovered 183 bricks composed of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine, CBP officials said.

Homeland Security Investigations took over the control of the probe after the discovery.


"We will continue to work tirelessly, utilizing all available resources and intelligence, to combat illicit activities and safeguard the wellbeing of our citizens," Vaquero said.

The seizure comes about two weeks after CBP agents in Texas announced two separate cocaine seizures worth $379,000 at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in Laredo and an interdiction of cocaine totaling $214,000 at the Eagle Pass port of entry.

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