Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Illegal Drugs from California Intercepted

By Karen Robes Meeks

Six people were arrested earlier this year by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers for their alleged involvement in an illegal drug shipment at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

According to the release, Australian agents assigned to the Joint Organized Crime Task Force (JOCTF) told Homeland Security Investigations special agents about a “planned large-scale drug importation by a suspected drug smuggling group operating out of California.”

CBP authorities discovered the drugs, concealed inside fake loudspeakers, in two containers bound for Australia on Jan. 11. This investigation led to the arrest of two US and four Australian citizens by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“This is the biggest ever seizure of methamphetamine – more than 1.7 tons – stopped before it had a chance to reach Australian streets,” said AFP National Manager Organized Crime Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill. “The JOCTF investigation demonstrated the effectiveness of Australian and international authorities working together to stamp out illicit drug importation, and I wish to thank our US counterparts for their expert involvement in this investigation.”

The seizure consisted of 3,810 pounds of methamphetamine, 55.9 pounds of cocaine, and 11.5 pounds of heroin.

“This is an extraordinary example of the superb and effective collaboration between CBP, HSI and our Australian law enforcement partners in targeting an international high-scale narcotics operation, and the unity of effort in protecting our communities from the irreversible harm of harsh drugs like methamphetamine,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.