U.S. Customs and Border Protection seize $17 million worth of cocaine in Louisville
Chief Brian Lick says it's the largest cocaine seizure he's seen in Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville intercept $17 million worth of cocaine at the UPS Worldport.
Customs and Border Protection Chief Brian Lick says anything from around the world that's shipped via UPS oftentimes travels through Louisville
"We screen, inspect, or examine, target, thousands of packages a day," Lick said.
And sometimes that includes illegal drugs hidden in packages of what was supposed to be boxes of silicone adhesive commonly known as caulk. Sixty of those boxes were found to have tubes filled with cocaine in them on April 19, 2018.
"This is a lot. This was 520 kilos. That's about 1,100 pounds," Lick said.
Lick said that's a street value of over $17 million. The drugs were being shipped from Brazil to a final destination in the Republic of Congo.
"This particular seizure is a little bit of a feather in our cap because it was a high amount," Lick said.
He said an average seizure is between five and 20 kilos.
In a statement, UPS says it does not discuss security measures, but the company did say, "UPS works with security agencies all over the world on interdiction efforts designed to stop those who would misuse our services."
The chief also couldn't get into specifics on what tipped officers off, but had this to say:
"You're looking at anomalies, you're looking at all different types of concealment methods," Lick said. "It's very creative out there. It's a cat-and-mouse kind of game when it comes to how you conceal things, where you can put things, how you can hide things in particular."
Any type of drug you can think of, they've seen it and every day is a daunting task.
"We're the last line of defense. If it gets through us, it gets out into the county. It gets out into our neighborhoods, our streets, into our homes," Lick said.
This case will now be passed on to homeland security investigations.
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