Discovery of close to $2-million in cocaine hidden in shipping container leads to 3 arrests

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Department of Justice says three men face a charge of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine after authorities discovered a shipment with nearly $2 million worth of cocaine at the Port of Savannah.

Officials say an investigation into contraband shipped from the Dominican Republic led police to a shipping container at the Port of Savannah on May 26. 

Authorities discovered approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine, with a estimated street value of $1.75 million, concealed inside the walls of cardboard boxes containing fresh oranges.

Authorities removed the cocaine from the shipment and maintained surveillance of the container when it was later picked up and delivered.

Officials say the container was transported on May 29 to a rented warehouse in Savannah.

Authorities arrested three men who arrived at the warehouse, opened the container and began unloading the boxes.

Police charged Juan De Jesus Gutierrez, 45, Jonathan Mejia, 41, and Ricardo Sanchez Ortiz, 46, all of Kissimmee, Fla., with Attempt to Possess Cocaine with Intent to Distribute; Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine; and Conspiracy to Import Cocaine.

Investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement agencies partnered in the arrests.

Authorities continue to investigate.

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