US authorities found $6 million worth of cocaine laminated on the inside of a box of pumpkins

PHL Cocaine178a Low 092315US Customs and Border ProtectionCBP Assistant Port Director Paul Nardella shows reporters where the cocaine was concealed during a media event in Philadelphia Sept. 23, 2015.

Earlier this month, US authorities seized 363 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of Costa Rican pumpkins and squash in Philadelphia.

The shipment arrived on the marine vessel Santa Maria and was destined for a distributor in New York City. Field tests conducted by authorities confirmed the white, powdery substance was cocaine.

Authorities estimate that the drugs have a combined street value of more than $US6 million, which makes the discovery the port’s eighth-largest cocaine seizure to date.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, the 384 packages of cocaine were laminated to the inside of the fruit case box flaps.

Philadelphia DEA special agent Gary Tuggle said his office received a tip that was passed on to US Customs and Border Protection agents at the port, the Associated Press reports.

“This is an immense amount of cocaine found cleverly stashed in the shipment of produce … we will continue to track down those who tried to smuggle these narcotics into the country, said HSI Philadelphia special agent, John Kelleghan.

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