Coast Guard offloads 15 tons of seized cocaine, marijuana
Capt: ‘We continue to take the fight to the drug cartels’
Fort Lauderdale – Nearly 15 tons of drugs seized by the U.S. Coast Guard, at an estimated value of $408 million, were offloaded Tuesday at Port Everglades.
About 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana were confiscated in international waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and in the Caribbean Sea. Four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships combined for 11 separate seizures aboard suspected drug-smuggling vessels since April 1.
“We continue to take the fight to the drug cartels and make an impact on these criminal organizations who spread this poison on our streets,” said Capt. Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter James.
Samples of the drugs will be kept for evidence to prosecute the smugglers, the Coast Guard said, but the bulk of it will be given to federal authorities to be destroyed per standard procedure.
The Coast Guard said it has seized more than 1 million pounds of cocaine in international waters over the past three years.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, officials said about 600 drug-smuggling detainees have been prosecuted in federal court in recent years.
The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded about 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana at Port Everglades on Tuesday.