Coast Guard recovers $55M worth of cocaine dumped by smugglers

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

The Coast Guard has offloaded more than two and a half tons of cocaine at Port Canaveral Wednesday.

Crew members of the Cutter Tampa recovered more than 75 bales of the drugs from the water after drug smugglers dumped it during a chase, officials said.

The Coast Guard said the drugs are worth about $55 million.

Officials said the cocaine likely came from Columbia and was seized from suspected smugglers off the coast of Panama.

The Coast Guard told WFTV the smugglers were trying to exploit a common drug trafficking route from Colombia and through the Caribbean.

Authorities said the suspected drug traffickers were spotted by a Canadian maritime patrol aircraft last month, which tipped them off.

Officials said the drug traffickers then threw the cocaine overboard to give themselves time to escape.

"While we would definitely like to have the suspects in custody as well, it's still great job satisfaction to know we got these drugs off the street," said Chief Petty Officer John Smithers.