PORT EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN) - The United States Coast Guard offloaded nearly 18,000 pounds of drugs at Port Everglades.
The USCG Cutter Bear vessel hauled the $62 million worth of marijuana and cocaine back to the port, Thursday morning.
Officials said the drugs were part of five separate seizures and the work of three Cutter crews off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America.
“I could not be prouder of this crew’s accomplishments and of the entire inter-agency and allied team that continue to stand the watch in an effort to stem the efforts of smugglers that seek to destabilize the western hemisphere while they line their pockets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Dennelly, Executive Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Bear. “It is through successful interdictions, such as the ones we are offloading today, that impact these criminal organizations, regardless of the product they are smuggling.”
Those who took part in the operation expressed a rewarding feeling afterward.
“This feels great,” said pilot Lt. Kyle Cuttie. “It’s excellent to kind of see the fruits of the labor.”
“To show that we’re making a difference to help shore up the United States and keep people safe,” Dennelly added.
In total, 14,000 pounds of marijuana and 3,600 pounds of cocaine was seized.
“Make no doubt about it,” said Admr. Charles Ray, “what you see here is profits straight out of the pockets of ruthless, transnational criminal organizations that would do harm and don’t have any regard for our families and loved ones.”
Ray went on to say that by seizing the drugs in these quantities, the Coast Guard is in essence pushing the U.S. border 1,500 miles south.
“We see the narcotics interdiction mission and the entire legal frame work behind it as a life-saving mission,” Cuttie said.
The goal behind the operation is to send a message loud and clear to smugglers that the pressure will stay on.
“No matter where you turn on the ocean, that’s our domain, and we’ll be going after you,” Ray said.
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