$6 Million Worth Of Cocaine Found In Boxes Of Pumpkins Shipped To US
The Port of Philadelphia ushered in the fall season by reportedly discovering more than 350 pounds of cocaine hidden in boxes of pumpkins and squash.
According to Philadelphia magazine, the gourds arrived in Philadelphia on September 17 on a boat coming from Costa Rica called the M/V Santa Maria.
The boat might not have been checked for illegal cargo if it wasn't for a tip from the Drug Enforcement Agency saying drugs were onboard, VICE reports.
This led to an investigation of the boat by the DEA, US Customs and Border Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with the US Department of Homeland Security.
Hidden within numerous boxes on the ship were bags of cocaine flattened beneath the vegetables, according to NBC 10. Agents found approximately $6 million worth of cocaine supposed to go to the Bronx.
John Kellegan, a special agent for the Department of Homeland Security, reportedly said,
The cocaine was expertly disguised in a shipment of squash and pumpkins and because of the coordinated efforts of the law enforcement agencies you see here today, that it was found, seized and never reach the streets of our country. This seizure is a unique opportunity for us to actually show the public the efforts of that daily coordination.
He told NBC 10 agents found cocaine in "approximately two-thirds" of the cargo after they went through all of the boxes.
No one was arrested as of yet, but an investigation is underway.
Drug dealers got into the fall spirit when making a cocaine shipment two years ago as well. Vice reports nearly five pounds of the drug were found inside three pumpkins by Canadian authorities.
That shipment was seized on Halloween at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
Citations: 383 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Shipment of Decorative Gourds (Philadelphia), Drug Traffickers Love Smuggling Cocaine in Pumpkins (VICE), Huge Cocaine Haul Found Hidden With Pumpkins & Squash at Philadelphia Port (NBC 10)