9 arrests show security breach at Elizabeth shipping port

Authorities say the East Coast's largest shipping port has experienced a security breach as eight dock workers have been charged in New York with cocaine

NEW YORK - Authorities say the East Coast's largest shipping port has experienced a security breach as eight dock workers have been charged in New York with cocaine trafficking and another has been charged in a stock fraud scheme.

Authorities said Tuesday the arrests of longshoremen from the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal in Elizabeth were part of a prosecution that resulted in 22 arrests. Other arrests were made earlier.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says an investigation revealed a security flaw at one of the world's most important hubs for commerce and trade. He says longshoremen made up to $100,000 for offloading just one duffel bag of cocaine within a secure area only port employees could access.

He warns, "We can't afford to have a port that is porous."

Authorities say they seized cocaine worth more than $34 million.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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