Photo by Chief Petty Officer Charly Tautfest U.S. Coast Guard District 7

Coast Guard Offloads $143.5 Million In Cocaine At Florida Port

Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma’s crew offloaded more than 7,500 pounds of cocaine in Port Everglades, an estimated street value of $143.5 million, Monday, after three interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

A maritime patrol flight spotted a vessel on April 16, and a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment team on the HMCS Saskatoon apprehended five suspects and nearly 4,000 pounds of cocaine from the low profile vessel. 

The vessel was destroyed as a hazard to navigation 

Photo by Chief Petty Officer Charly Tautfest
U.S. Coast Guard District 7

A maritime patrol flight spotted a vessel on April 20, and Tahoma’s law enforcement team apprehended four suspects and 2,400 pounds of cocaine from the low profile vessel. 

The vessel was destroyed as a hazard to navigation. 

While on patrol, a Tahoma crewmember found cocaine bales floating in the water on April 23. The bales were recovered totaling nearly 1,200 pounds of cocaine. 

On April 1, U.S. Southern Command increased counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs. Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions for these interdictions by United States Attorney’s Offices from the Middle District of Florida, the Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of California.

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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