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A U.S. Coast Guard takes part in a joint Arctic search and rescue exercise with Canadian counterparts Sept. 6, 2021, in Nunavut.
A U.S. Coast Guard takes part in a joint Arctic search and rescue exercise with Canadian counterparts Sept. 6, 2021, in Nunavut. (Michael Martini/U.S. Coast Guard)

MIAMI (Tribune News Service) — U.S. Coast Guard crews based in Key West stopped a speedboat off the Dominican Republic last week that the agency said was hauling 10 bales of cocaine.

The total weight of the drugs was around 250 kilograms with a wholesale value of about $7.5 million, according to a Coast Guard press release issued Monday.

The 25-foot boat was about 145 nautical miles south of Hispaniola last Wednesday when a U.S. law enforcement aircraft detected the vessel and radioed the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore to intercept it.

Along with the drugs, the crew of the cutter and a smaller Coast Guard patrol boat found two men from the Dominican Republic operating the vessel, the press release states.

The men were arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

“The crew did a great job working with interagency partners and Coast Guard watchstanders preventing this drug smuggling go-fast from making landfall,” Lt. Andrew R. Collins, the Kathleen Moore’s commanding officer, said in a statement.

The men, who the Coast Guard did not name, were transferred to another cutter, which took them to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to face the charges on Saturday.

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©2021 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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