Broward County

18 tons of cocaine among the day’s arrivals at Broward port

Capt. Scott Clendenin, the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton commanding officer, speaks at a drug offload press event in Port Everglades, Fla., May 18, 2017. Joint operations led to the interdiction of over 18.5 tons of contraband.
Capt. Scott Clendenin, the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton commanding officer, speaks at a drug offload press event in Port Everglades, Fla., May 18, 2017. Joint operations led to the interdiction of over 18.5 tons of contraband. U.S. Coast Guard

Nearly half a billion dollars worth of cocaine was unloaded onto a Broward County port dock Thursday by a U.S. Coast Guard crew after more than 20 different seizures involving several agencies.

The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Hamilton brought about 18 tons of cocaine to Port Everglades that had been seized from smugglers in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Hamilton’s crew worked with about seven other Coast Guard crews and a Royal Canadian Navy ship to seize the drugs along the coasts of Central and South America.

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Contraband packed away during a drug offload press event in Port Everglades, Fla., May 18, 2017. Joint operations led to the interdiction of over 18.5 tons of contraband. Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Clayton U.S. Coast Guard

Thursday’s cocaine show-and-tell comes about five months after a 26-ton unloading through a similar effort by the Coast Guard and other partner agencies.

“Building international partnerships is at the heart of this effort. No one nation can prevent the deleterious impact of drug smuggling on our borders and on the region as a whole,” said Capt. Scott Clendenin, commanding officer of the Hamilton, in a statement.

Military or law enforcement agencies typically track and locate suspected vessels and then U.S. Coast Guardsmen actually board the vehicles and conduct seizures, the Coast Guard said.

Next stop for all the cocaine unloaded Thursday?

To the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for processing.

The crew of the Coast Guard Hamilton offloaded more than 18 tons of cocaine Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Port Everglades worth an estimated $498 million.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3

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