Snow Job: 21-Ton Coke Bust

By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2007 6:43 AM CDT
Snow Job: 21-Ton Coke Bust
U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team officers (MSST) watch over bales of more than 40,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $500 million which was offloaded from Coast Guard Cutter Sherman at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif., Monday, April 23, 2007. The Coast Guard boarded a 330-foot...   (Associated Press)

It's the biggest cocaine seizure on the high seas and the second biggest bust in US history: The Coast Guard boarded a Panamanian freighter and discovered, inside cargo containers on deck, 21 tons of cocaine with a street value of $300 Million. "It was fast and furious," says Joseph Evans, DEA attache in Panama.

Newsweek has the inside story of the dramatic bust, from routine tip through tense  hours of surveillance and the final confrontation at sea. "The way they just threw the narcotics into the containers on deck was arrogant," says a prosecutor. "They thought they controlled the route and weren't going to have any problems." (More cocaine stories.)

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