MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Bundles of illicit booty were off-boarded at Coast Guard Station Miami Beach Friday by the men and women of the cutter Bernard Webber.
More than 1,000 pounds of cocaine seized in a joint project with the Royal Dutch Navy South of the Dominican Republic was piled on the dock.
A Dutch ship intercepted four smugglers in a go fast boat. The Coast Guard arrested the accused drug runners and sank their vessel.
Combat-outfitted Homeland Security agents watched over the seized coke, wielding assault rifles. “Operation Caribbean Venture” was a month-long exercise.
“The value of keeping these drugs off the street is immeasurable,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of law enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “These kinds of drugs are responsible for violent, organized criminal activity throughout the Americas.”
The haul brought in Friday is more than $17-million worth of coke, wholesale, that won’t be traded in South Florida neighborhoods where a large percentage of robberies, shootings and murders are drug-related.
On Thursday, in San Diego, the Coast Guard unloaded 25 tons, nearly $1 billion worth of coke, seized from 24 boats in the Pacific over a 90 day period. It is dicey work intercepting smugglers who can be armed and dangerous.
“Daddy! Daddy!” shouted a little boy as the Webber approached its mooring on Miami Beach Friday.
Jennifer Lynch, her son and daughter were at the dock, waiting for dad.
“I’m very proud of him,” Lynch said of her husband, Chief P.O. Michael Lynch. “It’s amazing to see the things that they incur on the seas and the things that they accomplish. I’m very proud.”
She said her husband spent the last 30 days at sea protecting his children, and yours.
“It’s what we look forward to when we go out there and work,” her husband said as he embraced his delighted son and daughter. “We’re out there looking to protect the United States from anything we can.”
And so they did in “Operation Caribbean Venture” – keeping more than half a ton of trouble off the streets.
The Coast Guard said its anti-drug efforts do not detract from its main mission of search and rescue, interdicting migrants and possibly stopping terrorists who might approach our shores. They bring in additional people and vessels specifically to perform the anti-drug operations.