Cocaine smuggling is big business, and the drug traffickers pull out all the stops when it comes to getting the illegal white powder into the United States.
Bulk cocaine is normally packaged into individual kilos (2.2046 lbs.), or bricks, and then bundled together into plastic or cloth-wrapped bales (pictured above). Each brick costs between $15,000 – $35,000 depending upon the location. The price is normally in the higher range in larger urban areas.
Deputy Chris Welte holds a single brick (kilo) of cocaine he confiscated during s traffic stop
Cocaine bales normally contain approximately 20 bricks for a total weight of a little over 44 pounds each.
The U.S. Coast Guard siezes tons of cocaine every year. They find the stuff in boats and planes, and they even find it floating at sea or washed up on beaches, like the plastic-wrapped kilos worth $2 million found on the shore in the Boca Raton, Fl. Inlet.
Lately, the Coast Guard is dealing with a new means of trafficking—personal, self-propelled submersibles (mini-submarines).
In 2009, the USCG managed to seize 11 of these underwater boats and confiscated 64 metric tons of cocaine.
The U.S. Coast Guard does a wonderful job of intercepting drugs before they enter the country. How effective are they? Well…
|Coast Guard Drug Removal Statistics by Fiscal Year * As of Date Below|
|Fiscal Year||Events||Vessels Seized||Detainees||Marijuana (lbs.)||Cocaine (lbs.)|
You know, sometimes tunnel vision, something cops should avoid like the plague, gets the best of us. When the question of cocaine bales came up on a popular writer’s group all I pictured was what you see above, a bale of hay. And I know better. Shoot, I worked narcotics for years and a friend of mine does this stuff in the Coast Guard. We even had a USCG helicopter help us out on a few drug operations. AND, I was certified as a DEA intelligence investigator. Still, I had this image in my mind when I incorrectly answered a question (and I bet it won’t be the last time I do). But…
Maybe my old brain knew what it was doing after all…
* USCG images and stats