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The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James pose with more than $445 million in illegal drugs seized by Coast Guard and partner agencies in Port Everglades, Florida, Oct 26, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James pose with more than $445 million in illegal drugs seized by Coast Guard and partner agencies in Port Everglades, Florida, Oct 26, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Offloads $450 Million Worth of Drugs in Florida

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 32044
October 27, 2023

The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded 33,200 pounds of cocaine and 12,400 pounds of marijuana, valued at approximately $448 million, at Port Everglades on Thursday.

The crew of the national security cutter USCGC James conducted the offload following 13 separate seizures involving multiple ships from the USCG and Navy in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

“This offload is crucial for national security,” said Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “It represents one part of a strong interagency team that closely collaborates with our allies and international partners to intercept dangerous and illegal drug smuggling into the United States.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is actively involved in combating drug cartels. The Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida, is responsible for detecting and monitoring drug transit, while the Coast Guard 11th District in California and the 7th District in Miami lead the law enforcement operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, respectively, including interdictions and boardings.

The USCGC James operates under the command of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, based in Portsmouth, Virginia, which oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. In addition to surge operations, Atlantic Area also deploys ships to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to combat transnational organized crime and illicit maritime activity.

Several U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security collaborated in the effort. In addition to the Coast Guard, the Navy, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as allied militaries and international partner agencies, all played a role in the counter-drug operations.

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