Coast Guard Intercepts More Than 7 Tons Of Cocaine From Cartels Threatening ‘National And Border Security’

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Four U.S. Coast Guard vessels returned to port in Florida with more than seven tons of cocaine Thursday following a mission in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk unloaded the narcotics haul, which carries an estimated street value of roughly $211 million, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The cutters Tampa, Venturous and Alert assisted the Mohawk over a several week period in intercepting seven drug smuggling vessels, along with two bales of narcotics found floating at sea, reported the Sun Sentinel.

Officials said the drug interdictions are “a significant hit to those traffickers” operating in Mexico, Central and South America threatening “our economic, national and border security.” One seizure involved a new kind of stealth craft employed by smugglers that have low profiles and are painted sea green. (RELATED: Global Opium And Cocaine Production Has Never Been Higher)

“A relatively new development is the use of a low-profile go-fast vessels,” said Mohawk’s Commanding Officer Bob Kinsey, according to the Sun Sentinel. “It’s very difficult to see. … Never say never when you’re talking about traffickers. They’re going to use technology [and] every advantage that they can get to subvert our maritime enforcement.”

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to make progress in the fight against transnational criminal organizations trafficking drugs throughout the world. The Coast Guard Cutter Campbell arrived at Port Everglades on June 8 after confiscating nearly 14,000 pounds of cocaine carrying an estimated street value of roughly $203 million.

Several cutters with the U.S. Coast Guard returned to port in Florida on May 10 after seizing roughly six tons of cocaine from Central and South American traffickers.

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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