(CNN) Under the cover of night, members of a ship’s crew loaded “bales” of cocaine onto a vessel bound for the United States, expecting to earn tens of thousands of dollars for the job.
Instead, US authorities seized the haul, totaling about 16 and a half tons with an estimated street value of $1 billion, according to federal prosecutors.
The drugs were found Monday in seven shipping containers on the MSC Gayane after it arrived at Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, according to a federal complaint filed Tuesday in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The US Attorney’s Office called it one of the largest drug seizures in US history. Life Sucks, Apparently; US Suicide, Drug, Alcohol Deaths At All-Time High in U.S.
“This amount of cocaine could kill millions — MILLIONS — of people,” US Attorney William M. McSwain said in a tweet. “My office is committed to keeping our borders secure and streets safe from deadly narcotics.”
The complaint accuses the ship’s second mate and another crew member of intentionally conspiring to possess a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to US jurisdiction.
According to federal investigators, the two confessed to their roles and provided details of the operations, which are included in an affidavit attached to the complaint. Illegal Drugs Continue To Pour Across Border
Second mate Ivan Durasevic expected to be paid $50,000 in cryptocurrency for helping load the cocaine onto the vessel, Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Eric Mooney said in the affidavit … Read more.