Costa Rica will stop sending Cocaine to Miami
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Costa Rica will stop sending Cocaine to Miami

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Costa Rica Star

The OIJ further explained that officials in Costa Rica had spoken to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about the temporary lack of an incinerator to destroy seized powder cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs. Prior to the massive airlift of cocaine to Miami in late July, the OIJ had managed to destroy almost 23 tons of drugs over the years at a cement factory in Cartago, but a couple of unfortunate incidents resulted in the stockpiling of confiscated drugs, and the OIJ ended up with too much coke.

A Warehouse Full of Yeyo

Before a Boeing C-17 Globemaster from the U.S. Air Force landed at the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in late July to transport pallets upon pallets of cocaine to Miami, the OIJ evidence warehouse in San Joaquin de Flores, province of Heredia, was ready to burst from all the drugs contained therein -particularly cocaine hydrochloride in powder form. The only incinerator in Costa Rica to handle the destruction of tons of drugs, routinely seized by the OIJ, Fuerza Publica (the national police force), the Border Police, and the National Coast Guard Service is currently out of commission.

At one time, the OIJ entrusted a cement and concrete factory in Cartago to handle the destruction of seized drugs in its massive incinerators. In 2009, however, a bag holding 20 kilograms of flake was stolen by employees of the cement factory during the destruction of 4,300 kilos. The individuals responsible for the theft were caught, tried and given prison sentences between 6 and 7 years, and the OIJ stopped using that factory altogether.

By 2011, OIJ employees complained that they could not even walk around the warehouse because of all the cocaine stuffed inside. The cement factory agreed to donate an incinerator the size of a jacuzzi to the OIJ, and agents got busy destroying up to 300 kilograms per hour. By February of 2012, however, agents had burned so much coke that the incinerator began to malfunction. Fumes were escaping the incinerator’s chambers and those involved in the destruction -who included judges in charge of supervision- were basically getting high, and thus the OIJ went back to stockpiling seized drugs.

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