The U.S. Coast Guard has unloaded in Miami approximately $10.9 million worth of cocaine and $1.8 million worth of marijuana seized in two incidents off the coasts of Colombia and Panama last month. The seizures were the latest efforts in the government's Operation Martillo, an element of the ongoing war on drugs that targets trafficking in the Caribbean Sea, the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the coasts of Central America.
The first seizure was made on May 22, when a Colombian Air Force maritime patrol aircraft tipped off the Coast Guard about a suspicious go-fast boat traveling northwest of Colombia. Coast Guard cutters Bear and Vigilant gave chase, and the go-fast boat ended up beaching itself on the island of St. Lucia.
The Coast Guard ended up collecting 14 bales of a substance that tested positive for cocaine.
Then on May 27, the Coast Guard cutter Resolute's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron spotted another suspicious go-fast vehicle northeast of Panama. The helicopter noticed the crew of the boat throwing packages overboard, and the Resolute deployed its small boats. They ended up collecting 62 bales of marijuana. Four suspected smugglers were also taken into custody.
"These individual seizures not only keep drugs off the streets and reduce the destabilizing effects they have on society, but they get our investigatory agencies one step closer to disabling the transnational criminal organizations that threaten the prosperity and security of free nations," said Cmdr. Tim Cronin, Coast Guard 7th District deputy chief of enforcement, in full-on War on Drugs mode, said in a statement.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.