The biggest cocaine bust in Philadelphia history occurred Tuesday. Federal authorities seized an estimated 16.5 tons of cocaine from a ship at the Philadelphia Port and are worth over $1 billion.

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This bust was preceded by an $18 million drug seizure in the Northeast and $77 million in cocaine seized from a cargo ship in the port of New York and New Jersey. Both of those discoveries occurred in March.

According to ABCNews the ship was the MSC Gayane and was headed from Chile to Europe when the drugs were discovered at the Packer Marine Terminal. The drugs were in seven different shipping containers. The U.S. attorney’s office reports the crew of the ship have been arrested and charged.


“Cocaine, New York’s nemesis of the 90s, is back-indicating traffickers push to build an emerging customer base of users mixing cocaine with fentanyl,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said at the time of the New York seizure. “This record-breaking seizure draws attention to this new threat and shows law enforcement’s collaborative efforts in seizing illicit drugs before it gets to the streets and into users’ hands.”

Cocaine is reportedly also being mixed with fentanyl for higher potency.

MSC ships were recently the subject of a bust in Philadelphia. The MSC company has not provided a comment.

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Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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