U.S. Cocaine Seizure Is 2nd Biggest
Almost 12 tons of Colombian cocaine, the nation’s second-largest cocaine seizure, has been found hidden inside concrete fence posts imported from Venezuela, officials said Monday.
Eleven people were arrested in Texas and Venezuela, officials of the U.S. Customs Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration said.
Information obtained during two busts in Texas led customs and DEA agents to a pair of warehouses minutes from the agencies’ Miami offices. On Nov. 26, they began breaking open the concrete and found 23,641 pounds of cocaine, about six kilos per post.
Replacing the seized cocaine would cost traffickers about $48 million, officials said.
The street value of the seized cocaine was “incalculable,” said customs special agent William P. Rosenblatt.
The posts were shipped from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, by TRANCA C.A., a business registered in that country. They were bound for TRANCA Inc., a fence post company registered in Miami, said DEA special agent Thomas V. Cash. The cocaine was supplied by traffickers in Cali, Colombia, Cash said.
The nation’s largest cocaine seizure, 21.4 tons, was made in Sylmar, Calif., in September, 1989.