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Federal officials seize more than 200 pounds of cocaine in Port Hueneme

Federal officials seize more than 200 pounds of cocaine in Port Hueneme
Bundles of cocaine were found hidden under the floorboards of a cargo ship that arrived in Port Hueneme on Jan. 22. In total, 221 pounds of cocaine were found on two separate vessels. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Federal law enforcement officials seized more than 220 pounds of cocaine last month on two ships that arrived in Port Hueneme in Ventura County, officials said Friday.

The first stash, about 204 pounds, was discovered on Jan. 22 by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers who boarded a refrigerated ship that had arrived from Ecuador. Agents found 80 bundles of the drug wrapped and hidden under the boat’s floorboards.

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Six days later, agents found seven more bundles weighing more than 17 pounds under the floor of a cargo ship from Guatemala.

The seizures, part of a joint effort between Border Patrol agents and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were the biggest drug bust at the port in decades, the agencies said.

A smaller stash of cocaine was discovered beneath the floorboards of another cargo ship from Guatemala six days later.
A smaller stash of cocaine was discovered beneath the floorboards of another cargo ship from Guatemala six days later. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

“This is the largest drug seizure at Port Hueneme in the last quarter of a century,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP port director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport and Port Hueneme. “I’m extremely proud of the results of this joint effort; it shows the professionalism, vigilance and keen focus of both agencies in preventing dangerous drugs into our communities.”

Earlier this month, Border Patrol officials in Los Angeles announced they had found more than 1.7 tons of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in two containers being shipped from the Los Angeles-Long Beach port to Australia.

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