Cocaine, marijuana worth $377 million seized by Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant crew patrols in the Caribbean in September of 2019.


By DOUG PHILLIPS | Sun Sentinel | Published: October 28, 2019

The international drug pipeline is short some 28,000 pounds of cocaine and about 11,000 pounds of marijuana, according to federal authorities.

Ten different U.S. Coast Guard cutters combined for a series of 18 drug busts and seizures in international waters of the Caribbean Basin and the Eastern Pacific Ocean — off Mexico and Central and South America — the agency announced Monday.

The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Karl Schulz, and other top officials are scheduled to be in attendance Monday morning when the drugs are offloaded from the Coast Guard Cutter James.

“The offload of over 13 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,” Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, Seventh Coast Guard District public affairs officer, said in a statement.

Along the with cutter James, the other Coast Guard cutters involved in the drug seizures are Valiant; Spencer; Northland; Harriett Lane; Thetis; Venturous; Confidence; Mohawk; and Vigilant.

Typically, a sample of the seized drugs are preserved for purposes of legal evidence for future prosecutions while the rest is turned over to federal authorities to be destroyed.

In recent years, the Coast Guard has publicly offloaded thousands of pounds of seized drugs at Port Everglades, its base in Miami Beach and elsewhere to highlight the cooperation among international military and law enforcement agencies to disrupt the illicit drug trade.

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