A U.S. Coast Guard cutter returned Thursday to San Diego with nearly 14 tons of cocaine.
Worth upwards of $US424 million, it took a team of men to unload the haul from the ship. A large chunk of the stash came from an 11,000-pound seizure off a single freighter in the Pacific, authorities said.
It was the largest single maritime drug seizure since 2009, Michel said, calling it “an important milestone in our nation’s fight against dangerous transnational organised crime.”
Offloaded: 28,000 lbs of cocaine valued at $US424 million
Each and every day, Coast Guard men and women patrol to keep our Nation safe and deter illegal activity. Today, Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell returned to San Diego and offloaded 28,000 lbs of cocaine valued at more than $US424 million. http://goo.gl/JSuSxQIn just the past 6 months, Coast Guard crews have seized more drugs in the Eastern Pacific than all of fiscal year 2014, marking the most successful drug seizure rates since 2009.
Posted by U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday, April 16, 2015
Smugglers tried to toss the drugs overboard as the Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy closed in on the ship, Vice Adm. Charles Michel, deputy commandant for operations, said during a Thursday press conference.
The rest of the drugs were seized during 19 separate incidents across 79 days as the joint task force worked to target drug smugglers off the West Coast.
Hundreds of packages were stacked on dozens of pale tts at Naval Base San Diego as Michel spoke.
Video of the stash shows a staggering amount of drugs spread out on the dock.
This haul represents half of the more than 56,000 pounds of cocaine worth over $US848 million that have been seized in this year, more than double the amount seized last year, Michel boasted.
A further 101 suspected smugglers have also been arrested since the beginning of the year, 14 of them on one boat, he added.
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