After unloading nearly $12 million worth of drugs in South Beach just two weeks ago, the U.S. Coast Guard has brought a whopping $41 million worth of cocaine and marijuana seized on the high seas to the shores of Miami Beach. Offloaded yesterday, the huge haul included 1,100 kilograms of cocaine and 4,420 pounds of marijuana.
The drugs were intercepted as part of Operation Martillo, a joint multinational effort targeting drug smuggling. Though the drugs were rounded up in multiple seizures, the Coast Guard released information about only one of those crackdowns.
This past September 20, Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft spotted a suspicious go-fast boat traveling southeast of Isla Saona in the Dominican Republic. Officials noticed the boat jettison four packages overboard, and then the Coast Guard cutter Richard Dixon moved in.
The Coast Guard crew boarded the boat and found 49 bales of marijuana on board. The bales weighed a total of 2,450 pounds of pot. Three suspected smugglers were aboard the boat and taken into custody.
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“These seizures highlight how effectively the U.S Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are working together to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs from South America into the United States and Caribbean nations,” Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of law enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District, said in a statement. “We have to keep these drugs from penetrating our borders. More importantly, we have to get after the organized criminal networks that fuel the violence and instability in the Western Hemisphere.”
The seizure continues a record year for the Coast Guard when it comes to drug smuggling. The military branch claims it has seized $4.3 billion worth of cocaine since October 2014. That's 130 metric tons' worth of white stuff, or about 130 elephants worth' of nose powder — which is probably more than even 130 elephants could snort.