Biggest cocaine bust at New Jersey Port in 25 years
About 1.6 tons of cocaine seized at Port Newark, largest drug bust in 25 years
Rodrigo Torrejon, North Jersey RecordPublished 9:44 a.m. ET March 11, 2019 | Updated 4:21 p.m. ET March 11, 2019
Route 23 is now known as the "Heroin Highway" for the trafficking of drugs from Paterson to the suburban and rural communities in western New Jersey. Tariq Zehawi and Danielle Parhizkaran and Svetlana Shkolnikova, North Jersey Record
More than 1½ tons of cocaine was seized in Newark, in the largest cocaine bust at Port Newark in 25 years, authorities said.
On Feb. 28, about 1.6 tons of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $77 million, was seized at Port Newark, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced in a statement. The seizure was the result of a joint raid by CBP, the U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Police Department and the New York State Police.
Truck full of cocaine seized at Port Newark (Photo: Courtesy of Customs and Border Protection)
“This is a significant seizure, in fact it is the largest cocaine seizure at the Port of New York/Newark since May 1994,” Troy Miller, director of CBP's New York Field Operations, said in the statement. “This interception prevents a massive quantity of drugs from getting to the streets and in the hands of our children.”
The multi-agency effort to seize drugs at ports of entry is meant to intercept them before they're disseminated throughout the country, preventing the drugs from ever reaching the streets. Cocaine, much like heroin, is often cut with fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine and often causes fatal overdoses.
“Cocaine, New York’s nemesis of the '90’s, is back — indicating traffickers' push to build an emerging customer base of users mixing cocaine with fentanyl,” said Ray Donovan, DEA special agent in charge.