The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded nearly six tons of cocaine — valued at about $170 million — Monday in Port Everglades. The drugs were seized during six different interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
“The countless hours and long days spent by our crews to stop these illegal smuggling operations is the embodiment of devotion to duty,” Cmdr. Michael Sarnowski, a commanding officer with the cutter Tahoma, said in a news release. “It is critical that our Coast Guard crews and partner agencies work persistently in ensuring these illegal drugs are stopped from coming to the streets of the United States.”
The plastic-wrapped bails of drugs were lifted with cranes off the cutters and into the port.
According to the Coast Guard, the drugs were seized between late July and August.
The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Tahoma was responsible for three interdictions, seizing an estimated 3,962 kilograms in drugs. The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa was responsible for two interdictions, seizing an estimated 1,855 kilograms. The Coast Guard Cutter Seneca was responsible for one interdiction, seizing an estimated 500 kilograms.
Sarnowski said in a video that the push to stop drugs from entering the country is a combined effort among many agencies including the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security.
“What you have now is a lot of crime organizations, cartels, gangs developing these multi-national criminal organizations,” Sarnowski said in the video the department shared. “So we are going to be out there just trying to do our best to help prevent these drugs from crossing into our borders.”