In a major haul, US Coast Guards offloaded about seven tons of cocaine on Tuesday morning at Port Everglades. The drugs, worth an estimated USD 190 million wholesale, were seized in international waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Coast Guard officials said.
Officials said that the drugs were seized during various interdictions by Coast Guard cutters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America. “The hard work of all our servicemen and women, along with our allied partners, directly contributed to the interdiction of seven tons of cocaine at sea,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, cutter Hamilton commanding officer.
“It truly is a team effort stopping these drugs from entering the United States, but more important than the drugs themselves are the arrests and the linkages these cases represent and the steps closer to dismantling the criminal networks that tried to move them into the United States,” he added.
The drugs were seized in just seven interdictions in international waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central, and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters in just one month.
“We have seen a growing threat as criminal groups construct specially designed low profile go-fast vessels,” said Gordon. “Sometimes 33 foot, sometimes larger vessels, going fast, that in and of itself can sometimes be a dangerous weapon,” Gordon added.
Here is a list of USCG’s interdictions –
- The cutter Hamilton was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 1,931 kilograms of cocaine.
- The Coast Guard Cutter Northland was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 2,871 kilograms of cocaine.
- The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 960 kilograms of cocaine.
- The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 601 kilograms of cocaine.
- The Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 2 kilograms of cocaine.
More than two dozen people connected to the alleged drug smuggling have been detained, officials said. Eighteen were brought to the U.S. while the others were taken to another country. It is unclear how many arrests were made during the interdictions. The seized drugs will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sea News, February 16