Coast Guard unloads more than 17 TONS of cocaine after series of drug busts in international waters: Reports

A statement from the U.S. Coast Guard this week revealed nearly 35,000 pounds of cocaine had been intercepted through a series of recent busts in international waters.

According to WBTV, the estimated wholesale value of the narcotics is $466 million. The haul was reportedly collected through a total of 21 operations before it was brought back and unloaded at Port Everglades, as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard cutter Forward explained in a statement.

“The interdiction and disruption of more than 17 tons of cocaine is a result of the collaboration and coordination of multiple Coast Guard and interagency assets to address the complex maritime challenge of Transnational Criminal Organization,” Commander Michael Sharp said.

Forward was one of five cutters employed in the busts, a Coast Guard news release noted.

Sharp went on to say that he was “extremely proud of all the women and men that contributed to the mission success,” calling it a “direct reflection of how the U.S. Coast Guard delivers mission excellence anytime, anywhere.”

The military branch recognized other agencies and departments for assisting in the investigations that made these busts possible.

“Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime,” the statement read. “The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in Florida, California, New York, the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.”

[Featured image: U.S. Coast Guard Southeast, video screenshot]