Coast Guard Cutter James' crew offloads approximately 54,500 pounds of cocaine and 15,800 pounds of marijuana, worth approximately $1.06 billion at Port Everglades, Florida, Feb. 17, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Offloads Over $1 Billion Worth of Drugs at Port Everglades

Mike Schuler
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February 18, 2022

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James on Thursday offloaded approximately 54,500 pounds of cocaine and 15,800 pounds of marijuana worth approximately $1.06 billion at Port Everglades.

The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea during 23 separate interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by crews from the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and international partners.

James’ 90-day patrol set new records for the largest single cocaine interdiction, at 10,915 pounds and worth $206.4 million, and the largest single marijuana interdiction, at 3,962 pounds worth $3.59 million.

The Coast Guard said the total amount offloaded was the greatest amount of contraband ever interdicted during an Eastern Pacific patrol.

The drugs were by crews from the USCGC James, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Holland, USCGC Stone, USCGC Griesser, USS Milwaukee, USCGC Northland, USCGC Diligence, and USCGC Margaret Norvell

“The best part of my job is being able to stand here at the end of a patrol and provide visibility on the incredible efforts from crewmembers who have volunteered for the challenging and dangerous duties to keep our shores safe,” said Capt. Todd Vance, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter James. “Each interdiction is a complex evolution and no two interdictions are the same. In fact, the James’ crew conducted simultaneous interdictions of two go-fast vessels 55 miles apart this patrol, showcasing their dedication and professional execution of the counter-drug mission.”

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District, headquartered in Alameda, California, and the law enforcement phase of operations in the Caribbean is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 7th District, headquartered in Miami. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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