CBP agents find cocaine stashed inside sailboat at Port Everglades

PORT EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized over 400 pounds of cocaine from inside a sailboat at Port Everglades.

According to CBP, the vessel — named Dylan — was on board a ship that transports yachts on Dec. 2 when the transport ship was stopped for a routine inspection.

When investigators saw the sailboat, they said something did not seem right. Investigators did not find anything during an initial search of the vessel, but then they noticed something about the bottom of the boat.

Then, the anti-terrorism contraband enforcement team took out heavy equipment and began cutting into the vessel.

“When we did the inspection of the vessel, we noticed the anomalies on the bottom, and we drilled into vessel here with a drill and revealed a white, powdery substance,” CBP Port Director Dylan DeFrancisci said. “That powdery substance field tested positive for cocaine, so we’re going to seize this vessel here because it’s no longer sail-worthy, per se, and we’re going to continue to investigate our sources on it.”

In all, 418 pounds of cocaine in 164 bundles were taken out of the vessel, and CBP officials said the street value of the seized drugs is $7.5 million.

The sailboat was on its way to Australia when the transport ship was stopped, CBP officials said.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection looks at different ways in which people try to conceal narcotics into the United States,” said DeFrancisci. “It’s usually in vessels like this and in areas you would never suspect.”

The sailboat has since been transported to a separate location where it will be further inspected.

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