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It is the largest drug seizure in Port Hueneme in 25 years.
An investigation by federal agents resulted in the seizure of 221.7 pounds of cocaine hidden in two cargo ships that arrived in Port Hueneme from Ecuador and Guatemala, the largest seizure of this type in 25 years in that location.
On January 22, while reviewing a refrigerated vessel from Ecuador, Customs and Border Patrol agents (CBP) discovered 80 packages of cocaine weighing 204.2 pounds. The narcotics were hidden inside the cargo ship’s planks. A week later, on January 28, CBP agents discovered seven packets of cocaine weighing 17.5 pounds inside the floorboards in another cargo ship, this time arriving from Guatemala.
“CBP plays a critical role in the effort to prevent dangerous drugs from entering the country illegally,” said Carlos C. Martel, director of field operations for CBP in Los Angeles.
He added that the investigative experience of the special agents of the Office of National Security Investigations (HIS) that now lead the ongoing investigation, was fundamental to the success of this interception.
“As drug traffickers become more creative, we are working all day with CBP and our law enforcement partners to stop this activity. HSI is generating a significant amount of intelligence in this investigation, which we will use to identify, disrupt and, ultimately, dismantle the criminal organization behind this scheme, “said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge of National Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles.
Located in Ventura County, Port Hueneme is the only deepwater commercial port between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Strategically located, Port Hueneme is an important center for imports of automobiles, fresh products, general cargo, bulk liquids, and fish.
“This is the largest drug seizure in Port Hueneme in the last quarter of a century,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Port Director in Los Angeles / Long Beach Seaport, and Port Hueneme. “I am very proud of the results of this joint effort, it shows the professionalism, vigilance and acute focus of both agencies in the prevention of dangerous drugs in our communities.”
Source: La Opinion