Over 1 ton of cocaine worth $32M seized in Miami, Coast Guard says

Over 1 ton of cocaine worth $32M seized in Miami, Coast Guard says


Saman Shafiq
 USA TODAY

More than 2,450 pounds of cocaine, valuing approximately $32.2 million, were seized by the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell in Miami, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The illegal drugs were confiscated in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea in two separate seizures, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement. That also led to the arrest of 6 smugglers, who will face prosecution in federal courts by the Department of Justice.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Coast Guard crews and agency partners involved with this interdiction, Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell brought these suspected smugglers and illicit contraband ashore for prosecution,” Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Colin Weaver said in a statement. “Coast Guard crews continue to deliver on our important missions of homeland and maritime security to save lives and thwart transnational criminal organizations operating in the Caribbean.”

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The U.S. Coast Guard said that such interdictions are investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, explaining that the OCDETF “identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten” the country.

Multiple crews from the USCG Cutter Richard Dixon, the USCG Cutter Dauntless and the Joint Interagency Task Force South were involved in the seizure, said the USCG, adding that “detecting and interdicting illegal drug traffickers on the high seas involves significant interagency and international coordination.”

Breaking down the process, the USCG said that the Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida detects and monitors the aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs.

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“Once interdiction becomes imminent, the law enforcement phase of the operation begins, and control of the operation shifts to the U.S. Coast Guard throughout the interdiction and apprehension,” said the USCG.

The USCG, under the authority and control of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, headquartered in Miami, conducts interdictions in the Caribbean Sea.

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