MIAMI — U.S. Customs Service agents said today they seized more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine from the air-conditioning compartments of two Eastern Airlines jets flying into Miami from Colombia and fined the airline almost $1.4 million.
The cocaine, which has a street value of $430 million, was seized from two Boeing 727s, said Edward Kwas, southeast regional commissioner of customs.
The first seizure occurred Aug. 11, when 894 pounds of cocaine was found aboard Eastern Flight 972 after it arrived at Miami International Airport from Barranquilla, Colombia, Kwas said.
The second seizure came Aug. 24 after Eastern's Flight 982 arrived from Cali, Colombia.
The two airplanes involved in the smuggling were not seized, but the airline has temporarily suspended service into Barranquilla while it evaluates security measures, said Eastern spokesman Glenn Parsons.