Coast Guard unloads seized cocaine in St. Pete - WFLA News Channel 8

Coast Guard unloads seized cocaine in St. Pete

Posted: Updated:
ST PETERSBURG, FL - Tuesday morning, members of the the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous unloaded 1,500 pounds of seized cocaine at the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. Coast Guard members seized the drugs as part of operation Caribbean Guard. The operation is part of a multi-agency effort, led by Homeland Security, to keep drugs out of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ensign Ryan Webster recalled getting word that a boat loaded down with cocaine had been spotted off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

"We had the boat in the water in about five minutes," he said. "There's people dead asleep, launching the small boat in the water, and off and on the run."

It can be a dangerous proposition. The vessels used to transport drugs are called go-fast boats. Webster said the drug runners started throwing bales of cocaine over the side of the boat as the coast guard approached.

"They tried to get rid of evidence as quickly as possible," Webster said.

This seizure happened on Oct. 11, after the coast guard sector in San Juan got a report of the suspicious vessel. When it was all said and done, authorities found 28 bales on the boat that tested positive for cocaine. The Coast Guard estimates the cocaine has a wholesale value of $23 million.

Family members anxiously awaited for their loved ones to get back on shore after spending 40 days at sea. Danielle Eister is the wife of one of the crew members. She said her husband's work makes her proud.

"Him coming home is like every birthday and holiday all rolled into one," she said. "This is why they're out there, to keep us safe, and they're amazing. I'm happy that it's safer out there now."

The crew will now have time to relax with their loved ones. They will leave on their next mission sometime in late December.

Adrienne Pedersen contributed to this report.

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl


  • NewsMore>>

  • Sarasota man in critical condition following early morning assault

    Sarasota man in critical condition following early morning assault

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:18 AM EDT2014-09-15 09:18:26 GMT
    Calvin Joseph White, 24, is being held without bond at the Sarasota County Jail. Calvin Joseph White, 24, is being held without bond at the Sarasota County Jail.
    A convicted felon is behind bars charged with attempted second-degree murder following an incident early Saturday morning in Sarasota.A 24-year-old man was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he is listed in critical condition. Joseph Viqueira suffered at least one stab wound to the chest.
    A convicted felon is behind bars charged with attempted second-degree murder following an incident early Saturday morning in Sarasota.A 24-year-old man was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he is listed in critical condition. Joseph Viqueira suffered at least one stab wound to the chest.
  • 5-year-old Tampa golfer gives pro tips on national TV

    5-year-old Tampa golfer gives pro tips on national TV

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:58 AM EDT2014-09-15 08:58:32 GMT
    A little lady from Tampa featured on The Steve Harvey Show is just 5 years old. 
    A little lady from Tampa featured on The Steve Harvey Show is just 5 years old. 
  • Hillsborough deputies identify body found

    Hillsborough deputies identify body found

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:51 AM EDT2014-09-15 07:51:23 GMT
    Octavio Reyes' family membersOctavio Reyes' family members
    When Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies told Rosario Reyes her husband was dead, her first thought was "How will I explain this to my youngest children?"
    When Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies told Rosario Reyes her husband was dead, her first thought was "How will I explain this to my youngest children?"
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: Sept. 1 - 6

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: Sept. 1 - 6

    Friday, September 12 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:57:17 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from September 1 to 6, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from September 1 to 6, 2014.
  • Beware of venomous puss caterpillars found in Florida

    Beware of venomous puss caterpillars found in Florida

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:00:52 GMT
    Puss caterpillar (Photo: University of Florida)Puss caterpillar (Photo: University of Florida)
    The may look fluffy and cute, but these caterpillars are anything but. Under all that fur on the puss caterpillar are venomous bristles that break off into the skin when touched by humans and cause serious pain.
    The may look fluffy and cute, but these caterpillars are anything but. Under all that fur on the puss caterpillar are venomous bristles that break off into the skin when touched by humans and cause serious pain.
  • Hillsborough deputies identify body found

    Hillsborough deputies identify body found

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:51 AM EDT2014-09-15 07:51:23 GMT
    Octavio Reyes' family membersOctavio Reyes' family members
    When Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies told Rosario Reyes her husband was dead, her first thought was "How will I explain this to my youngest children?"
    When Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies told Rosario Reyes her husband was dead, her first thought was "How will I explain this to my youngest children?"
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.