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Backpacks With 20 Pounds of Cocaine From Jamaica Intercepted by CBP

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Eight bricks of the cocaine were secreted away in two backpacks hidden in hold of an American Airlines flight from Jamaica. 
PHILADELPHIA – Nearly 20 pounds of cocaine was seized Saturday evening at Philadelphia International Airport after customs officers made a sweep through an American Airlines arrival from Jamaica.

Officers discovered two drawstring-style backpacks in the plane’s cargo hold concealed behind an access panel, said Steve Sapp, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Each backpack contained four bricks of a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

“It’s a pretty sizable seizure,” Sapp said. “We usually see people coming through with personal-use amounts.”

Customs conducts routine examinations of planes originating from “source nations,” Sapp said.

“Most of the time we don’t find anything,” he said. “But this time we did.”

The seized cocaine weighed about 19 pounds, nine ounces and had a street value of $600,000.

Officers have made no arrests.

In June, customs officers seized 14 pounds of cocaine smuggled to Philadelphia from the Dominican Republic. Fabio Dalloco, 45, an Italian national, was arrested and charged with multiple drug counts.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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