Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Rodriguez/US Coast Guard / Courtesy
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has seized more than 14,153 pounds of cocaine with a value of more than $186 million dollars, as reported in a press release.
The authorities said that drugs were intercepted in nine separate cases in operations against drug trafficking that were carried out in international waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
the crew of the coast guard Cutter Bear offloaded the drugs on Friday along with 12 unidentified “suspected smugglers” who were arrested. Drug traffickers will be prosecuted in federal courts by the Department of Justice.
The drug shipment comes from operations carried out in international waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean “as a result of the efforts” of various Coast Guard crews.
“This teamwork is imperative for the identification, interception and seizure of vessels engaged in illicit trafficking and a testament to the hard work of these crews” USCG, said Lieutenant Peter Hutchison, duty officer in the 7th Coast Guard District.
“The contraband discharged,” Hutchonson added, “represents the professional expertise and dedication of US law enforcement and defense agencies working together to combat the flow of illicit drugs through the Caribbean region into USA”.
According to the statement from the Seventh District of the Coast Guard, based in Miami and which includes Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and “34 foreign nations and territories” in its area. “The detection and interdiction of illegal drug traffickers on the high seas implies important inter-institutional and international coordination.”
Joint Interagency Task Force South, located in Key West at the southern tip of Florida, performs the detection and monitoring of illegal drugs. “Once interdiction becomes imminent, the enforcement phase begins and control of the operation passes to the US Coast Guard,” the statement said.
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