• Coast Guard offloads seized drugs worth $62.5 million at Port Everglades

    By: Kelly Healey , The Associated Press


    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard is offloading marijuana and cocaine with an estimated street value of $62.5 million at Florida's Port Everglades.

    The drugs seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean will arrive Thursday morning in Fort Lauderdale on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bear, which is based in Portsmouth, Virginia, the agency said in a news release.

    The stash includes some 3,660 pounds (1,660 kilograms) of cocaine and 14,000 pounds (6,350 kilograms) of marijuana.


    "I could not be prouder of this crew's accomplishments, and of the entire interagency and allied team that continue to stand the watch in an effort to stem the efforts of smugglers that seek to destabilize the western hemisphere while they line their pockets," said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Dennelly, executive officer of USCGC Bear.


    Officials said the operation involved two Coast Guard cutters and a Navy ship off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America.

    "It is through successful interdictions, such as the ones we are offloading today, that impact these criminal organizations, regardless of the product they are smuggling. It is certainly a team effort," Dennelly said.


    According to the U.S. Coast Guard news release:

    • The Coast Guard Cutter Bear was responsible for two cases, seizing approximately 7,900 pounds of marijuana and 300 pounds of cocaine.
    • The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant (WMEC-621) was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 2,700 pounds of cocaine.
    • The USS Tornado (PC-14) with a Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team was responsible for two cases seizing approximately 6,100 pounds of marijuana and 660 pounds of cocaine.


    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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