PHILADELPHIA – Federal authorities seized about 16½ tons of cocaine Tuesday from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, prosecutors said.
Members of the ship’s crew were arrested and federally charged. The investigation is ongoing, said a tweet form US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
It’s the largest seizure in the district’s history, the office said.
The drugs were found inside eight containers on a cargo ship, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.
A kilogram of cocaine sells for about $28,000, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2016 estimate. At that price, sold by the kilo, the drugs would be worth more than $419 million.
The US Attorney’s Office estimates the street value at more than $1 billion.
The seizure comes on the heels of several major busts at the Port of Philadelphia, located about 8 miles up the Delaware River from the Packer Marine Terminal.
Among them were seizures of 450 kilograms of cocaine in May, 538 kilos of cocaine in March and 50 kilos of the powerful opioid, fentanyl, in July, WPVI reported.
The Port of Philadelphia said the situation was still developing and that it had no comment.