(EMAILWIRE.COM, August 19, 2015 ) Baltimore, MD -- According to the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore authorities seized 147 pounds of cocaine stashed inside of a shipping container filled with lumber at the port of Baltimore. The discovery was made with the assistance of cargo scanning technology when officers conducting a routine inspection discovered anomalies in the stacks of lumber inside a container from Brazil, according to authorities.
. The recent drug bust was the largest cocaine seizure in Baltimore since 2007, when authorities found over
In the latest discovery which took place on August 4th, officers found two gym bags with 57 bricks of a white powdery substance which authorities say tested positive for cocaine. Authorities have estimated that the amount of cocaine which they seized was worth over $4 million. Stephen Sapp, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the amount of cocaine which was seized is large for Baltimore, but a drop in the bucket in comparison to drug seizures elsewhere, such as along the nation's southwestern border.
The scanning technology which was used to discover the cocaine is similar to an x-ray, it can detect anomalies in containers, such as items which are of an unusual density or shapes. "Wood has a very distinct shape," Sapp said. "The bricks [of drugs] are not designed in that shape. So we can see there's a different shape inside that container that is not consistent with the shape of wood."
The same technology was used in the 2013 seizure at the port when the machine spotted an anomaly amid the boxes of auto parts in a container from Colon, Panama, resulting in authorities finding two gym bags with a combined 50 bricks of cocaine.
Sapp stated that he is unaware if there have been any arrests made in the most recent case. He shared that after a drug seizure by Customs and Border Protection, an investigation is generally turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, whose official then work with other federal agencies, in addition to state and local police officers. He also added that the cocaine may have originated from somewhere other than Brazil, "just because it left from Brazil doesn't mean it was actually manufactured in Brazil," Sapp said. "Just because we stopped it here doesn't mean that [Baltimore] was its final destination."
A medical associate from Drug Rehab Baltimore commented, "Wow, that is a lot of cocaine which was seized. However, it made me happy to know that those drugs won't make it to the streets of Baltimore. We are already dealing with a huge drug epidemic as is, and the recent stint of CVS robberies for prescription drugs has put our city in an even bigger crisis. I am hopeful that Baltimore authorities will continue to make major drug busts like so!"
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