KEY WEST (CBSMiami) — Just two weeks after over $1 million in marijuana washed ashore near West Palm Beach, U.S. Coast Guard officials captured a much bigger bounty on Tuesday in Key West.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports a joint effort between the crew of Coast Guard Cutters Mohawk and Tahoma seized $6.2 million in marijuana.
The 6,500 pounds of pot was taken into custody when a 60-foot Jamaican-flagged fishing vessel, the Captain Richard, was found to be adrift in the Caribbean, without fuel.
What’s even odder: the fishing boat was over 200 miles away from the nearest port.
The Captain Richard was put in tow by crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk. The crew boarded the Captain Richard after receiving permission from Jamaican authorities, the agency said.
Several hundred packages were found wrapped in plastic and tape, the Coast Guard said.
The crew from the fishing boat and the marijuana were transferred to the Mohawk.
During the seizure and offloading, the Mohawk was carrying a joint crew that included personnel usually assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma, which is currently undergoing a nine-month overhaul at a Coast Guard facility in Baltimore.
“I am extremely proud of how the crew performed, and the response by the Mohawk demonstrates the operational effectiveness of the Coast Guard’s medium endurance cutter fleet and the need for offshore patrol capabilities to combat illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea,” said Capt. Chris Mooradian, commanding officer of the Tahoma.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed material for this report.