PORT EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN) - Drugs seized at sea were brought to a South Florida port in a multi-million dollar bust.
Multiple agencies, including Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the United States Coast Guard and the Drug Enforcement Administration, worked together in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific Ocean. The USCG Cutter Hamilton crew was out at sea for 72 days.
“Our ship deployed with a crew of 144 Coast Guard personnel, including our regularly assigned crew, specialized detachment consisting of Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and industry personnel,” said USCG Capt. Matt Brown.
The mission proved to be a successful one with just over 26,000 pounds of cocaine and 3,700 pounds of marijuana seized.
“This represents eight different cases of about 20 to 24 individuals that were detained during the course of a couple months,” said USCG Vice Admiral Steven Poulin.
The bust was valued at over $504 million.
Despite harsher conditions on the water this time of year, Brown explained that trafficking is not slowing down.
“The drug trafficking doesn’t really stop during that time. It just continues on and on, and sometimes this has become, over the last couple of years with an increased drug trafficking that we’ve seen since 2019, they’re going right throughout the year without a break in the seasons.”
The investigation into these cases continues.
“We’re continuing investigations that are ongoing as part of all of these seizures, so the detainees are turned over for appropriate further investigation, and then the drugs are also turned over, primarily, to the inner agencies for forensic testing, but then also for ultimate destruction,” said Poulin.
The overall mission remains ongoing.
“The Coast Guard and our partners are hard at work,” Brown said. “Irrespective of the load, irrespective of the size, we are going to interdict narcotics on the seas before they make it to our streets.”
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