Coast Guard Seizes Over $214 Million in Cocaine

The Coast Guard has offloaded over eight tons of cocaine in Miami Beach with an estimated value of more than $214 million.

"Quite a lot of cocaine, but it does represent just a small fraction of the cocaine that's trying to get into the United States," USCG Commander Timothy Cronin said.

The drugs were collected in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America over the last two months, according to the Coast Guard.

The cocaine was brought Monday to the Coast Guard's base on Miami Beach aboard the Cutter Bernard C. Webber.

Coast Guard officials say the haul represents the interdiction of 11 suspected smuggling vessels and one bale recovery operation.

Authorities say eight out of 10 countries in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean have record high homicide rates due to drug-related organized crime.

Last year, the government dedicated more resources to fighting the drug trade in the eastern Pacific and Caribbean.

"We're already bypassing last year's numbers and we still have four months left to go," Cronin said.

So far this year, the Coast Guard, with the help of the U.S. Navy and Department of Homeland Security, has intercepted and seized 64 tons of cocaine in the eastern Pacific. Cronin said those drugs would've ended up on our streets.

"That's the same death and destruction we see in Central America. We see it in Chicago, we see it in New York, we see it locally here in Miami. We're trying to get after that," he said.

USCG officials said the cocaine offloaded in South Florida is only a fraction of the drugs seized in the recent busts. Crews offloaded an additional 30 tons Monday in San Diego.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us