US Coast Guard Offloads Largest Haul Of Cocaine And Marijuana In Its 231-Year History
The US Coast Guard recorded its biggest drug offload in its 231-year history this week, with more than $1.4 billion worth of cocaine and marijuana.
The illegal drugs were offloaded by the crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter James at Port Everglades in Florida on Thursday, August 5 after being seized from 20 different interdictions in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea, namely off the coasts of Panama and Columbia.
The haul included approximately 59,700 pounds of cocaine and approximately 1,430 pounds of marijuana, with Captain Todd Vance, a Commanding Officer on the Cutter James, saying the drugs seized are double the amount interdicted last autumn.
Carson McCluskey, a crew member who’s been with the Coast Guard for just over a year, described the record-breaking offload as ‘a big team effort’, CBS Miami reports, with the Coast Guard working with US Customs and Border Patrol and Canadian officials, among others.
He said, ‘We use small boats, we use helicopters, we use people on land. And we just all come together to make this happen.’
The interdictions took place over a three-month span, with four occurring over the course of just 10 days.
Captain Vance noted that ‘every bail of cocaine’ included in the offload and which ‘doesn’t make it to [US] shores’ represents ‘lives saved in New York City, Philly, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any small town that’s dealing with pandemic levels of drug overdoses this year’.
Meanwhile, USGC Operations Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Centerno told NBC Miami the offload shows ‘just shows how much work still needs to be done’.
Centerno continued, ‘The fact that this is done in only three months, it just shows that we’re doing our jobs there’s still a lot more to be done.’
The official Twitter account for Port Everglades shared an image of the event and congratulated the Coast Guard for its efforts, writing, ‘Congrats US Coast Guard for largest drug interdiction in USCG history – 26 tons of cocaine & 1,434 lbs of marijuana worth $1.4 billion. We were honored to be the offload site. The record haul was the result of an int’l partnership with USCG, US Navy, Canadian Navy & Dutch Navy.’
After unloading the drugs, the Coast Guard will hand them over to an inter-agency team and work closely with the US Attorney’s Office to try and ensure the drug traffickers behind the illegal shipments are held responsible.
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