A U.S. Coast Guard vessel returned to port in Florida Friday with roughly seven tons of cocaine seized off cartel smugglers in the waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America.
The the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell arrived at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale with the bounty of narcotics, which were seized by crews of the Campbell and the Cutter Active during interdictions conducted between April and May. The Active seized roughly 827 kilograms of cocaine, while the Campbell nabbed 5,435 kilograms of the drug, reports WTSP.
The total haul of nearly 14,000 pounds of cocaine carries an estimated street value of roughly $203 million. Officials said that as part of the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy aimed at cutting down on the flow of narcotics in the U.S. they have increased their maritime presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin. (RELATED: Synthetic Opioids Are Causing Cocaine, Xanax Deaths To Skyrocket)
“The persistent presence of Coast Guard and partner agencies, along with our foreign nation counter-drug partners, in the highly-trafficked Eastern Pacific drug transit zone is essential to dismantling the crime networks that threaten the U.S. with their illicit activities,” said Mark McDonnell, commanding officer of the Cutter Campbell, according to WTSP.
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to make progress in the fight against international drug traffickers. Several cutters with the U.S. Coast Guard returned to port in Florida May 10 after seizing roughly six tons of cocaine from Central and South American traffickers.
The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast returned to port in Oregon in January with roughly 12,000 pounds of cocaine seized from cartels and transnational crime groups in the Eastern Pacific. The crew was conducting a 50-day counter-drug patrol in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico and Central America.
The U.S. Coast Guard previously seized nearly 16 tons of cocaine during a series of drug busts in the Pacific Ocean, targeting smuggling routes over a 26-day period in March 2017.
Officials called it one of the largest seizures of cartel narcotics in history.
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