MIAMI (WFLA) – The Coast Guard and partner agencies seized approximately 1,500 packages of cocaine near Panama on June 8.
The packages were taken from a 72-foot vessel approximately 46 miles northeast of the country.
A Coast Guard HC-130 Maritime Patrol Aircraft crew spotted the suspicious vessel on routine patrol.
The crew launched a small boat with a law enforcement team on board, who boarded the vessel and discovered it was taking on water.
The law enforcement team continued boarding and found general cargo that was suspicious of containing contraband.
Coordinating with Colombian authorities, the crew put the vessel in tow and transferred it to the Colombian coast guard and navy.
The Colombian navy discovered over 16,700 lbs of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.
After final lab testing continues, the drug seizure is predicted to be worth up to $286 million.