MIAMI (WFLA) — The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded over 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth $160 million in Florida on Tuesday.
According to a news release, the Coast Guard and its partner agencies seized the drugs from international waters around the Caribbean on nine separate occasions.
“Our team worked extremely hard, day-in and day-out, to stop illicit narcotics from reaching the United States,” said Cmdr. Thomas Martin, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence. “I am honored to serve with such a proficient crew and share in their success.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Joint Interagency Task Force South, the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Royal British Navy assisted the Coast Guard with the drug seizures. 17 people were taken into custody and face federal charges in connection to the incidents.
“Yesterday’s contraband offload represents what can be achieved when U.S. and international defense and law enforcement agencies work together to combat the entry of illicit drugs into the United States,” said Lt. Fernando Pla, duty enforcement officer for Coast Guard District Seven. “This teamwork continues to deter the illicit drug trafficking market and is a testament to the hard work of these crews.”