PORT EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN) - The U.S. Coast Guard off loaded over seven tons of cocaine seized in a drug bust at sea.
The cutter Mohawk pulled into Port Everglades Thursday morning.
The drugs were seized in international waters in the Pacific Ocean between June and July.
The Coast Guard has increased its presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, both of which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America.
“Although it’s not a lot when it comes to the trans-criminal organizations, it’s enough to let them know that we’re still out in full force,” said USCG cutter Mohawk Executive Officer Staci Brown. “It just really shows the need of Coast Guard and OGAs and law enforcement in general.”
A total of seven boats were stopped during the 70-day mission, seizing about 14,000 pounds of drugs, worth $211 million.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the largest, certainly for the Coast Guard or even for this crew,” said USCG CDR. Bob Kinsey.
Maritime Enforcement Specialist Luis Saenz said the drug traffickers have different ways of moving the cocaine.
“If you were to just see this on board, you might assume it’s just fuel but what they actually did here was they cut open the bottom, and they stuffed the cocaine in through there,” Saenz said. “Seeing that firsthand, the effect that we have getting the drugs off the streets and keeping them off the streets, it’s honestly really rewarding.”
Kinsey said the traffickers also come up with a host of different ways to avoid detection and get around border control.
“One of the four interdictions involved a low profile go fast vessel, which is a vessel designed to float just below the surface of the water with only a small portion visible to the surface,” Kinsey said.
According to authorities, this is not even the largest haul ever brought in.
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