Law enforcement officers at Port Hueneme, California, recently seized almost 222 pounds of cocaine concealed in vessels from Ecuador and Guatemala carrying produce.
The seizures, about a week apart, represent the largest such haul in 25 years at the port, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The effort was a collaboration between U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and CPB’s office of field operations, according to a release.
On Jan. 22, CBP officers discovered 80 bundles of cocaine weighing about 204 pounds in the floorboards of a refrigerated cargo vessel from Ecuador. On Jan. 28, CBP officers found seven bundles of the drug weighing 17.5 pounds in the floorboards of another ship from Guatemala.
The CBP did not identify what produce the ships were hauling.
Port Hueneme, which is in Ventura County, is the only commercial deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is an important hub for imports of fresh produce, fish, autos and general cargo, according to the release.
Special agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division were critical to the seizures, and are leading an ongoing investigation into the smuggling, according to the release.