The illegal drug trade is extremely lucrative because of the risk markup. A large enough bust can also affect the overall price, at least locally, because it can affect the supply, but not the demand. The estimated worth of seized drugs is just an estimation, and may be exaggerated, but this list of the biggest American drug seizures by estimated worth are big enough to impress upon us how huge the trade is.
In June 2016, The Miami-Dade police made the largest cash seizure in history. According to police, the discovery was something out of the movie, Scarface. The investigators found $20 million in cash stuffed into 5-gallon paint buckets. The buckets were hidden behind a false wall that led to a secret room of the suspect’s home. According to police, a confidential informant told them that the suspect was involved in an indoor marijuana growing operation. When the police searched the suspect’s home, the found the cash hidden in the buckets.
And that's just a marijuana growing operation! Read about much bigger import seizures, going back almost 30 years, at Money Inc.