Thanks to MSN News for this:
The seas were made for seizing.
The Coast Guard offloaded $1.4 billion worth of cocaine and marijuana Thursday in South Florida, the largest drop-off in the military branch’s history.
“It’s historic,” said Vice Admiral Steven Poulin at a press conference.
“It’s a result of the combined efforts of our interagency partners and a dedicated international coalition.”
Coast Guard Cutter James tracked down the 59,700 pounds of cocaine and 1,430 pounds of marijuana in 20 seizures from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, military leaders said. The crew had help from a Canadian ship, the HMCS Shawinigan.
“As you can imagine, finding a small boat in the Caribbean that doesn’t want to be found is like looking for a needle in the haystack,” said Commander Bill Sanson, Shawinigan’s commanding officer. “And boarding those vessels in 10-foot seas, gale-force winds at night is not for the faint of heart.”
The drugs were unloaded at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, where the Coast Guard often offloads drugs seized at sea. An estimated $400 million in contraband was brought to the same port in December 2020.
“Every bale of cocaine on this flight desk that doesn’t make it to our shores represents lives saved in New York City, Philly, Chicago, Los Angeles or any small town in the U.S. that’s dealing with pandemic levels of drug overdoses this year,” said Captain Todd Vance, Cutter James’ commanding officer.
A record 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, described the data as “chilling.”
“This has been an incredibly uncertain and stressful time for many people,” she said last month. “We are seeing an increase in drug consumption, difficulty in accessing lifesaving treatments for substance use disorders, and a tragic rise in overdose deaths.”