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Coast Guard Offloads $35 Million In Cocaine

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – A high-speed chase played out like a movie scene in the Caribbean Sea this week and the load of cocaine was brought to Miami Saturday morning.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hunted down a boat carrying the massive load and was forced to use weapons.

"This is a big seizure, this is (showing drugs) 2,300 pounds of cocaine that will not make it to America," said Lieutenant Commander Gabe Somma with the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District.

The drugs coming in from South America were seized July 14.

"A pursuit ensued, the go-fast would not stop. The coast guard helicopter fired warning shots, the go-fast continued on its course so the Coast Guard helicopter fired a shot to disable its engine."

Forty two bales of cocaine were thrown overboard during the chase according to the Coast Guard.

"This continues to be an increasing trend were seeing in the central Caribbean,"said Lieutenant Commander Somma.

Earlier in July, the Coast Guard seized 1,250 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Costa Rica.

According to the Coast Guard, the smugglers have caught onto the enforcement and have changed their course to farther north toward the Dominican Republic, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

"Once you get the drugs over to Peurto Rico it's much easier to get them here to the streets of South Florida," said Lieutenant Mario Gil with District 7.

The smugglers were arrested after the chase earlier in the week and taken to Tampa.

Coast Guard officials placed a wholesale value on the drugs totaling $35 million.

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