Even for Miami Beach, 2,500 pounds of pure cocaine is a lot to be in any one place at one time.
The U.S. Coast Guard is unloading the loot, worth an estimated $35 million on the street, at its Miami Beach station today after a historic raid just south of the Dominican Republic.
On January 22, the U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft spotted a suspicious 25-foot go-fast boat carrying four people and questionable cargo. A helicopter took off from the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Wave Knight to intercept the boat.
Warning shots were fired, and the boat's crew members then began throwing the bales of cocaine in the water. The chopper then used "airborne use-of-force" to disable the vehicle.
It was the first time a U.S. armed helicopter had launched off a foreign military vehicle in order to support a counter drug operation.
The Coast Guard supplied a short video of the nighttime operation:
The crew members were arrested, and the Coast Guard recovered a whopping 45 bales of cocaine.
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"This historic operation is a result of a dedication to improved interoperability and highlights the great success and commitment of our interagency partnerships to stop the illegal flow of narcotics into the United States," said Rear Admiral Jake Korn, commander of the Coast Guard Seventh District, in a statement.
The contraband was unloaded today on Miami Beach at about 10 a.m. and turned over the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.