The United States Coast Guard just announced the conclusion of what appears to be a large drug bust in the Pacific Ocean. So large, in fact, that the agency is now back on the mainland to offload several hundred million dollars’ worth of illegal substances.
According to the agency, the busts were the result of efforts from several Coast Guard vessels and crews, along with law enforcement agencies from several other countries.
Massive Drug Busts Off Pacific Coast
The Coast Guard detailed their multiple drug busts in a press release published yesterday. The release also included a number of photos and a link to a video.
All the media feature images of Coast Guard personnel and tons of seized contraband. Specifically, cocaine and marijuana.
All told, the Coast Guard said it confiscated 19 tons of narcotics. Specifically, that includes almost 28,000 pounds of cocaine. That amount of cocaine is reportedly worth an estimated $367 million.
Along with the cocaine, the Coast Guard also said it seized nearly 11,000 pounds of marijuana. The confiscated cannabis comes in at a street value of roughly $10.1 million.
The confiscated drugs, and the busts they came from, were the result of an operation that reportedly lasted six to eight weeks.
Now that the Coast Guard has busted up numerous shipments and seized all these substances, it is back on land to offload it all. The Coast Guard reported that it will do so at Port Everglades.
All of the confiscated cocaine and marijuana came from drug busts off the Pacific Coast of the United States and countries in Central America. In particular, the Coast Guard’s press release stated that the drugs came from 18 separate drug related interdictions.
The interdictions all took place in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of the U.S., Mexico, and several other countries.
Cooperative Law Enforcement Efforts
The busts were the result of what appears to be a coordinated effort between numerous Coast Guard crews. Specifically, the agency said that there were at least 10 different vessels and crews involved with the drug busting initiative.
The cooperation among law enforcement went further than that. In particular, several other countries were involved in the effort. That includes law enforcement from Colombia, Costa Rica, and others.
“These drugs will not reach Main Street USA due to the efforts of […] Coast Guard cutters involved in these interdictions,” said Captain Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter James, which was heavily involved in the drug busts.
He continued: “The James crew conducted counter-drug operations with the cooperative efforts with regional partner nations, like Colombia, Costa Rica and alongside the agencies involved in Operation Martillo to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Due to this cooperative effort, we maintain an offensive against criminal networks and criminal organizations.”
Authorities from other countries also spoke to the U.S. media about the busts.
For example, Rear Admiral of the Colombian Navy, Jose Jauquin Amezquita Garcia said: “Drug trafficking is a tragedy and a threat that is taking lives and tearing apart urban and suburban communities in the United States as well as small villages in the rural areas of Colombia.”