FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than 27-thousand pounds of cocaine and 11-thousand pounds of marijuana at Port Everglades on Monday.
The estimated worth of the drugs – nearly $370 million.
“The offload of over 19 tons of drugs represents the efforts of not only 10 Coast Guard cutters over 18 separate interdictions, but also the commitment and dedication of international allies and partners, like the Colombians, as we work together to disrupt the networks that profit from their them,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman.
The cutter James crew was responsible for 25 percent of the drugs hauled in. The had five interdictions and seized approximately 7,022 pounds of cocaine and 4,085 pounds of marijuana.
James Commanding Officer Captain Jeffrey Randall said they did it in partnership with other vessels and they were dangerous missions.
“There’s an action-reaction game that we play. How we plan those interdictions and execute those interdictions to minimize the risk to our crew while also making sure we can get a successful prosecution,” he said.
The combined effort represents what the Commandant of the Coast Guard said is a true partnership that crosses hemispheres.
“The criminal element we’re dealing with here are transnational criminals,” said Admiral Karl Schultz. “Taking down large boatloads of cocaine at sea really helped to reduce the corruption, the violence in those Central American countries that manifest as human tragedy on our southwest border.”
The crew of the cutter Valiant was responsible for two cases, seizing approximately 4,184 pounds of cocaine. The cutter Spencer’s crew made one interdiction and seized approximately 1,477 pounds of cocaine.
The cutter Northland made two interdictions seizing more than 12,214 pounds of cocaine while the crew of the cutter Harriett Lane was responsible for two cases, seizing nearly 750 pounds of cocaine and 5,540 pounds of marijuana.
The cutter Thetis’ crew was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 160 pounds of cocaine.
The crews of the cutters, Venturous, Confidence, Mohawk, and Vigilant also made on interdiction each.
The drugs were seized in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.