War on drugs

Coast Guard unloads $17 million in coke on Miami Beach


Miami Herald Staff Report

The Coast Guard said it brought ashore to Miami Beach more than a half-ton of cocaine valued at $17 million on Tuesday, weeks after a Coast Guard crew recovered it from the Caribbean after an at-sea chase.

Using coordinates provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard cutter Mohawk was sent to intercept a fast boat in the southwestern Caribbean on Jan. 24, a Coast Guard statement said.

A helicopter off the Mohawk “located the go-fast vessel and witnessed the suspected smugglers jettison the contraband as they continued their pursuit,” it said.

Crew members plucked from the water 18 bails of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of more than $17 million.

The seized coke weighed 1,400 pounds, the Coast Guard said, and 17 bales were brought to the Miami Beach station after an at-sea transfer from the Mohawk to the Coast Guard vessel Valiant.

An 18th bail was turned over to federal officials pursuing a criminal investigation, Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss said on Wednesday.

The Coast Guard statement said “four suspected smugglers” were turned over to law enforcement agents ashore, but did not elaborate.

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