33K pounds of cocaine seized in one of biggest US drug busts

Federal authorities seized about 16 1/2 tons of cocaine from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia prosecutors said

Federal authorities seized more than 16 tons of cocaine from a ship at a Philadelphia port, officials said Tuesday.

The cocaine was seized from the ship MSC Gayane, which was traveling from Chile, Panama and the Bahamas before docking in Philadelphia's Delaware River.

Members of the ship's crew were arrested and federally charged.

The suspects' names have not been released and authorities are investigating the location for more evidence.

The bust comes after United States authorities seized almost 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in March - the biggest haul in almost 25 years at the port of New York/Newark.

"This amount of cocaine could kill millions-MILLIONS-of people", US Attorney William McSwain tweeted.

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Members of the crew were arrested and face federal charges. The U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia announced the massive bust on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

It's the largest seizure in the district's history, the office said.

According to ABC News, this is the biggest cocaine bust to ever take place in the city. It is the largest drug seizure in the region's history.

It is unclear whether the drugs seized on Tuesday were intended for the US or Europe, where the ship was ultimately bound.

Patrick Trainor, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Philadelphia, said that based on current prices in the area, the street value of the haul is around $525 million to well over $1 billion.

"Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection are leading a multi-agency inspection of shipping containers aboard a merchant ship at the Port of Philadelphia", Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement, according to NBC.

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