The U.S. Coast Guard will be unloading 719 kilograms of cocaine today at its station in Miami Beach. That comes with an estimated street value of about $23 million.
The coke was intercepted in the Caribbean on September 8 by Coast Guard Cutter Bear.
The cutter spotted a 208-foot cargo boat in the waters northeast of Panama. The crew boarded the boat, and found several hidden parcels on board. The powder inside tested positive as cocaine, and the shipment was seized. Thirteen suspected smugglers were arrested.
It's the third time this summer that the coast guard seized a shipment in a cargo vessel. Drug shipments are typically more often seized from smaller go-fast boats.
"Drug smuggling organizations continually try to shift their tactics to avoid interdiction by the Coast Guard," said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District, in a statement. "Our goal is to prevent illegal drugs from reaching American shores and to reduce the destabilization effects they have on our neighboring countries in Central America. We will continue to lawfully stop and search vessels we suspect may be involved in maritime illicit trafficking."
On August 28, the Coast Guard had found about $49.9 million worth of cocaine on a 165-foot coastal freighter. On August 10, the Coast Guard intercepted $32 million worth of coke on a 226-foot freighter near Haiti.