Coast Guard seizes $100M in cocaine from smugglers
MIAMI The U.S. Coast Guard has made a trio of high seas drug seizures worth $100 million in less than two weeks, CBS Miami station WFOR-TV reports.
In the first seizure, Coast Guard crew members recovered $55 million worth of cocaine found floating off Florida's east coast.
Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa found more than 5,000 pounds of cocaine in the water Wednesday after smugglers aboard a boat dumped the drugs in an attempt to escape officers.
The smugglers got away but without their cocaine.
The smugglers were first spotted by a crew aboard a Canadian patrol plane working in the area.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew and the Tampa were then called in to stop the vessel.
Also Wednesday, in St. Petersburg, Fla., the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive offloaded 3,967 pounds of cocaine seized from two law enforcement cases.
The two interdictions were a result of a multi-agency law enforcement effort in support of Operation Unified Resolve.
The drug shipments are estimated to have a combined wholesale value of more than $45 million.
The first interdiction took place Nov. 25. Authorities seized 2,094 pounds of cocaine south of the Dominican Republic.
Two days later, the Coast Guard seized another 1,873 pounds of cocaine from a sailboat during an at-sea interdiction also south of the Dominican Republic.
During the past five months, the Coast Guard has seized, under Operation Unified Resolve, in partnership with regional law enforcement authorities in the Caribbean, 20,895 pounds of cocaine and 6,900 pounds of marijuana in 15 law enforcement cases.
The wholesale value of those seizures is $262 million.
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