June 18, 2023 -The United States Coast Guard says it has seized cocaine worth more than US$186 million during operations in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
In a statement, the Coast Guard said that more than 14,153 pounds of cocaine had been offloaded in Miami last Friday following nine separate interdictions in international waters. It did not specify the period when these interdictions were carried out.
“The contraband offloaded …represents the professional expertise and dedication of US defence and law enforcement agencies working together to combat the flow of illicit drugs through the Caribbean region into the United States,” said Lieutenant Peter Hutchison, duty enforcement officer at Coast Guard District Seven.
“This teamwork is imperative to the identification, interception and seizure of vessels engaged in illicit trafficking and a testament to the hard work of these crews,” he added.
Along with the illicit narcotics, the US Coast Guard said 12 suspected smugglers were apprehended and face prosecution in federal courts by the US Department of Justice.
The US Coast Guard said the Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida conducts detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs.
“Once interdiction becomes imminent, the law enforcement phase of the operation begins, and control of the operation shifts to the US Coast Guard throughout the interdiction and apprehension,” said the US Coast Guard, adding that interdictions in the Caribbean Sea are performed by its crew under the authority and control of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, headquartered in Miami.