[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

6882: Cocaine operation busted at river (fwd)

From: nozier <nozier@tradewind.net>

 Published Thursday, February 1, 2001, in the Miami Herald
Cocaine operation busted at river BY ARNOLD MARKOWITZ

 A 400-kilo load of cocaine made it from ship to shore but not to its
destination Wednesday in Miami. A dozen or so local, state and federal
police followed a rented truck from a Miami River cargo dock and stopped
the driver two miles away, where a police dog named Condor made a bet on
the truck's contents. Agents opened it up and found second-hand clothing
and linens, cartons of bananas, cheese chips and trousers, and 20
cardboard cases that were labeled as vegetable oil in gallon jugs.
Condor barked at those. U.S. Customs agent John Clark said the jug boxes
had been converted to drug
 boxes: about 20 kilos of cocaine in each from the Haitian freighter
Darton, whose
 home port is Port-de-Paix. It arrived in Miami last Tuesday and docked
 Bassas Cargo International at 325 NW South River Dr.
 Agents watched the vessel until the truck came out Wednesday. They
followed it
 as far as a Texaco station at Northwest 17th Avenue and Seventh Street
 they stopped the driver, whose name was not available. ``He doesn't
know what's in the truck or where he was going,'' Clark said, implying
he doubts that. He said the man would be charged with possession of
cocaine and possibly other offenses.
 Ships like the Darton are easy to identify when they come from Haiti,
Clark said:
 ``They don't bring cargo in. They come up here empty, which no
legitimate business would do. They stay there on the river for three
weeks, load up with used mattresses and bicycles and go back to Haiti.
They're just floating stash houses for cocaine.''
 Many mattresses were stacked on shore beside the Darton, waiting to be
 aboard. There also were bikes, buckets and kitchen equipment including
 three-basin commercial sink. Customs Chief Inspector Mike Sinclair said
his squad found the cocaine hiding place in a ballast tank between two
cargo holds. In one of the holds, gallon jugs of vegetable oil were
lined up in 21 straight rows of six, with no boxes in sight. ``They took
the oil out and put the cocaine in the boxes,'' Sinclair said.