Coast Guard seizes more than 16 tons of cocaine

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Authorities in Puerto Rico say they have seized more than 3,500 pounds (1,600 kilograms) of cocaine after chasing and stopping a boat north of the US territory.

The almost month-long mission in the global waters of the Eastern Pacific, which included U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian and interagency partners, involved 17 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interceptions along Central and South America, the agency said in a news release.

The Coast Guard brought 16 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $1.2 billion into Port Everglades, Florida, on Tuesday, a haul that was the result of 17 busts by USA and Canadian authorities over the past 45 days off the coasts of South and Central America.

The cutter James and its helicopter squad conducted five seizures totaling 5.2 tons of cocaine.

"As I like to say, unfortunately, business is good for us".

Coast Guard officials said the drugs were intercepted along Central and South America by Coast Guard and Canadian crews.

The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa was responsible for three cases, seizing an estimated 3 tons of cocaine.

No matter the dark of night, the bad weather or the rough conditions, Fedor said his talented crew stays focused on the safety of our streets and fulfilling the mission at hand. They bring this ship to life. "They're the heroes of this story", said Fedor.

More than 30 alleged drug smugglers were arrested, officials said Tuesday during a press conference at Port Everglades in Florida, CBS Miami reported. "When those smugglers are racing across the Caribbean or the Pacific, they're just not carrying cocaine".

  • Joey Payne