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15 tons of cocaine and marijuana worth $408M seized, offloaded at Port Everglades

The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded about 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana at Port Everglades, with an estimated value of more than an $408 million.

ERICK A. PARSONS, U.S. COAST GUARD

By WAYNE K. ROUSTAN | Sun Sentinel | Published: June 9, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — Nearly 15 tons of drugs, with an estimated value of $408 million, are being offloaded by the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday after being seized at Port Everglades.

About 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana were confiscated in international waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Sea. Four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships combined for 11 separate seizures aboard suspected drug smuggling vessels, since April 1.

“We continue to take the fight to the drug cartels and make an impact on these criminal organizations who spread this poison on our streets," said Capt. Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the cutter James.

The Coast Guard reported that:

— The Coast Guard Cutterutter James seized about 8,400 pounds of cocaine and 3,350 pounds of marijuana.

— The cutter Mohawk confiscated approximately 1,700 pounds of cocaine.

— The cutter Confidence netted 1,089 pounds of cocaine in one seizure.

— The cutter Escanaba gathered about 2,200 pounds of cocaine.

— The USS Pinckney had two interdictions seizing about 9,050 pounds of cocaine.

The USS Lassen seized about 575 pounds of cocaine and 3,575 pounds of marijuana in two interdictions.

Samples of the drugs will be kept for evidence to prosecute the smugglers the Coast Guard said. but the bulk of it will be given to federal authorities to be destroyed per standard procedure.

The Coast Guard has said its operations have seized more than 1 million pounds of cocaine in international waters during the past three years. The Coast Guard did not disclose how many arrests were made during this latest operation.

Port Everglades has become a frequent location for the seizure of illegal drugs amid Coast Guard drug enforcement efforts. Statistics provided by the Coast Guard show:

— Nearly 20 tons of cocaine and marijuana worth about $377 million arrived at Port Everglades on Oct. 28, 2019.

— Over 13 tons of cocaine and marijuana worth about $350 million was brought in June 6, last year.

— Almost 9 tons of cocaine and marijuana valued at about $62 million also came in April 18, 2019.

— And, 17 tons of cocaine and marijuana worth $466 million were offloaded at Port Everglades on Feb. 5, 2019.

©2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
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