Coast Guard offloads $214 million worth of cocaine in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded eight tons of seized cocaine at its Miami Beach station, Monday.

7News cameras captured crews carrying one bundle after another out of the Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber.

A U.S Coast Guard crew out of Boston seized the drugs in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean drug transit zone, off the coast of Central and South America, between early April and late May, according to Coast Guard officials.

“Out of these interdictions, suspected smugglers were brought into the United States for further investigation and prosecution,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Tim Cronin.

The estimated value of the haul is approximately $214 million. The drugs will be destroyed.

Officials said this is the largest drug load brought into Miami in the past five years. “They were already bypassing last year’s numbers,” said Cronin, “and we still have four months left to go in the fiscal year, which is how we account four our drugs and our seizures.”

The Coast Guard said numerous U.S. agencies were involved in the counter-drug operations. “It’s a combined effort between U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security’s resources to bring these drugs into Miami today,” said Cronin.

The FBI, Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement also provided assistance, along with allied and international partner agencies.

To get ahead of drug suppliers, the Coast Guard now has a bigger presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean as they continue to fight the war on drugs. “These drugs are ultimately going to find their way into U.S. cities, and that same death and destruction that we see in Central America, we see it in Chicago, we see it in New York, we see it here locally in Miami,” said Cronin. “We’re trying to get after that.”

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