MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Officers found 2,000 pounds of cocaine while conducting a random search on a ship Wednesday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said the ship that came from Haiti looked suspicious to agents on patrol on the Miami River.
That’s when they decided to search the ship – docked at 3300 N. North River Drive.
Hundreds of bricks of neatly packaged cocaine were found hidden in a compartment underneath the metal top deck of the ship.
Agents drilled holes throughout the deck and discovered the hidden compartment with boxes and boxes of bricks of cocaine.
“The metal compartments were flush. They were welded back over. They sand them down. They repaint them and then it makes it very hard to see the compartments were concealed,” said Port Director Tony De Francisci. ” We drilled them out and found a white powdery substance. We cut them open with our drill.”
The rest of the ship was empty, which the port director said is common. Often the ships are filled on the Miami River and then returned to Haiti.
Chopper 4 was over the scene around 5 p.m. as Customs and Border Protection agents continued to search the ship. They continued drilling holes and looking over every inch of the ship – owned by a cargo company out of Haiti.
Authorities allowed the crew members to remain in the United States while Customs and the U.S. Attorney’s Office continue their investigation.
At last check, no one had been arrested.
“This is a pretty big bust for us, you know, 2,000 pounds of narcotics coming to the United States, coming off the streets is a big bust,” said De Francisi.