The U.S. Coast Guard recovered nearly 30,000 pounds of cocaine and cannabis, valued at more than $475 million, offloading it on Thursday at the Base Miami Beach, Florida.
The drugs retrieved by an international crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Legare were found in international waters. The operation was jointly undertaken by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the Royal Netherlands Navy to confiscate drugs from suspected cartels, according to a U.S. Coast Guard press release.
“I am proud of the crew’s continued devotion to duty that made this offload possible,” said Cdr. Jeremy M. Greenwood. “The drugs seized through this coordinated effort will result in significantly fewer drug-related overdoses.”
The Coast Guard said that fighting drug cartels and criminal organizations requires a lot of unity at different phases of the process.
“From detection and monitoring to interdiction and apprehension, and on to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation. Detecting and interdicting illegal drug traffickers on the high seas involves significant interagency and international coordination.”
Recent Drug Bust In Florida: Fentanyl
Another multi-agency effort involved a two-year undercover drug investigation that led to the arrests of 85 people, including six leaders of a drug-smuggling ring, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in mid-August.
The two-year investigation unveiled a ‘very different kind of operation,’ said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, when announcing the seizure of 268 pounds of methamphetamine and 6.8 ounces of fentanyl being smuggled into Florida from Mexico through California and then to the streets of Central Florida.
“Now that doesn’t sound like a lot, just 6.8 ounces. But according to our DEA partners, 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a deadly overdose,” said Judd. “It means that 6.8 ounces of fentanyl could have killed up to 96,000 people.”
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Adolescent drug overdose deaths have doubled over the past decade due to the emergence of illicit fentanyl.
Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann, courtesy of US Coast Guard