Coast Guard Docks in St. Pete After Seizing Two Tons of Cocaine
Two large drug busts netted $45 million worth of cocaine.
Nearly two tons of cocaine worth $45 million was offloaded by the U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday in St. Petersburg.
According to a Coast Guard news release, the ship Decisive and crews seized 3,967 pounds of cocaine. The seizure was part of a multi-agency law enforcement plans called Operation Unified Resolve.
Officials said on Nov. 25, the Coast Guard and Caribbean regional law enforcement authorities disrupted a maritime illegal drug shipment and seized 2,094 pounds of cocaine south of the Dominican Republic.
“Our Coast Guardsmen are committed brave men and women who everyday go far out to sea, away from our immediate shores, to stop the threats that come from the sea and bring those responsible to justice.” said Coast Guard Capt. Drew Pearson, Sector San Juan commander in a news release. "The outstanding efforts and collaboration between the Coast Guard and Caribbean regional law enforcement partners took these two major cocaine shipments, with a combined weight of over 3,967 pounds, out from the hands of criminals. Our efforts to stem the flow of drugs into Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as far off shore as possible is unwavering and will reduce crime across the region.”
While on patrol, the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft detected four men aboard a suspicious vessel using blue tarps in an attempt to conceal a cargo shipment of what appeared to be multiple bales of suspected contraband.
The Coast Guard aircrew observed the crew throw their cargo overboard and flee the area shortly after being detected, a news release said.
Officials said 38 bales of suspected contraband had been spread out over a three nautical mile were recovered.
In a second case on Nov. 27, the Coast Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities apprehended a sailing ship and seized 1,873 pounds of cocaine during an at-sea interdiction south of the Dominican Republic, the Coast Guard said.
The crew of a patrolling Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft initially detected a suspicious sailboat. Officials said crews boarded the vessel and discovered 26 packages in plain view. A field test confirmed that the packages contained cocaine
Over the past five months, the Coast Guard has seized, under Operation Unified Resolve, in partnership with regional law enforcement authorities in the Caribbean, 20,895 pounds of cocaine and 6,900 pounds of marijuana during 15 law enforcement cases. The wholesale value of these seizures is worth $262 million.