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#2233: More than a ton of cocaine seized from 4 freighters (fwd)


More than a ton of cocaine seized from 4 freighters 

MIAMI (February 7, 2000 9:37 p.m. EST) - Authorities looking into
Haitian drug traffickinghave seized nearly 3,000 pounds of cocaine and
four ships docked along the Miami River in the last two weeks. 
Federal authorities searched nine freighters on the river since Jan. 29,
finding the 1.5 tons of cocaine on the four ships. They unloaded 1,000
pounds of cocaine from one ship Monday. The seizures resulted from a
long-term investigation of trafficking through Haiti, a growing shipment
point of drugs grown in Colombia and destined for the United States,
officials said. "We're disrupting a way that looks like it's been very
successful for some time," said DEA spokesman Brent Eaton. "And we're
getting the evidence to target those responsible." No arrests had been
made by Monday. The cocaine recovered from all four ships has a street
value of more than $23 million, said Customsspokesman Michael Sheehan. 
Between October 1997 and Feb. 1, Customs seized 10,371 pounds of
cocaine, 17 freighters and $2.4 million in U.S. currency on the Miami
River, not including the four recent seizures, the agency said. 
Customs also arrested 99 illegal aliens and 32 alien smugglers on the
river during that time, said special agent Frank Figueroa.