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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – More than 13 tons of cocaine were offloaded Friday morning at US Coast Guard Station Miami Beach.
The drugs were seized in 12 separate drug smuggling vessel interdictions off the coasts of Mexico, Central, and South America.
The Coast Guard said the 27,000 of cocaine has an estimated $360 million.
Pictures showed bales of cocaine hidden beneath the deck in boats boarded by crew members. They patrolled in international waters in an area about the size of the United States.
“For each metric ton it’s estimated that metric ton could kill 11 Americans,” said Vice Admiral Daniel Abel.
Six of the seizures were made by the crew of the Cutter Tampa. They seized an estimated 18,239 pounds of cocaine.
The Cutter Venturous was responsible for four cases and seized and seized an estimated 18,239 pounds of cocaine. The crew of the Cutter Dependable seized an estimated 2,926 pounds of cocaine in two interdictions.
It’s almost always a dangerous mission, but Coastguardsman Christian Seay says it’s feel good to bring it home.
“It’s a good sense of accomplishment, you know, you’re not here to get recognized, we’re just here to do a job and, you know, get the stuff off the streets,” he said.
The seizures were part of a coordinated operation which involved multiple agencies as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy.
Thirty suspected smugglers were arrested or detained in the operation. The drugs will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Some will be held for prosecutions, the rest will be destroyed.