Cocaine worth $3 million seized at port

April 20, 2007|By Matthew Dolan | Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter

Federal customs agents seized $3 million worth of cocaine hidden in a cargo ship from Ecuador and docked at Baltimore's main port, officials announced yesterday.

Agents discovered the cocaine during a random search Monday of the containerized cargo on the vessel Alianca Shanghai.

Michael Hrinyak, the customs agency's security director at the port, said it was one of the largest cocaine seizures at the Baltimore port in recent years.

A contraband enforcement team with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Anti-Terrorism found 310 pounds of cocaine on the ship after a drug-sniffing dog alerted authorities.

A total of 125 bricks of cocaine had been hidden inside a 40-foot refrigerated container from Guayaquil, Ecuador, according to customs officials. Agents reported that the cocaine stash was stuffed inside three duffel bags and placed on top of more than 1,000 cartons of plantains.

No arrests have been made and the ship was allowed to proceed to its destination in New York.

matthew.dolan@baltsun.com

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