Huge Cocaine Haul Found Hidden With Pumpkins & Squash at Philadelphia Port - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Huge Cocaine Haul Found Hidden With Pumpkins & Squash at Philadelphia Port

Authorities seized more than $6 million worth of cocaine from a shipment at the Port of Philadelphia. (Published Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015)

Pumpkins, squash and hundreds of pounds of cocaine.

It's not your average fall cornucopia, but that's what federal authorities say they found in a crop shipment delivered to the Port of Philadelphia last week.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents discovered 363 lbs. of the illicit drug -- $6 million worth — last Thursday uniquely hidden at the bottom of boxes holding the vegetables. The drugs were put into pouches that were laminated and laid flat with the hopes they wouldn't be noticed.

“Approximately two-thirds of the shipment contained the cocaine, in essences it required you to go through all the boxes to verify whether it contained narcotics or not,” Special Agent John Kellegan told NBC10 Wednesday.

Stacks of cocaine that was placed into pouches and laminated so they would be flat to avoid detection are displayed at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol offices in Old City Philadelphia.
Photo credit: NBC10 - Dave Palmer

Kellegan said the drugs were shipped from Costa Rica. Officials called the seizure one of the largest in the field office's recent history.

“Our last seizure of this magnitude was in 2012 that was approximately 386 lbs. that came through Puerto Rico” said Assistant Port Director Paul Nardella.

No one has been arrested for the illegal shipment and Kellegan made a point to say there's no reason to believe the drugs are connected to Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Philadelphia this weekend.

The investigation is ongoing.