The U.S. Coast Guard seized $17 million worth of cocaine from a vessel in the southwest Caribbean Sea on Jan. 24.
A Customs and Border Protection unit spotted the go-fast vessel, according to the Coast Guard.
When the Coast Guard cutter Mohawk caught up with the vessel, officers saw four smuggling suspects throwing bales into the water.
The 18 bales later tested positive for cocaine.
“Seizures at sea are the most efficient and cost-effective way to keep contraband off the streets of America,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, 7th Coast Guard District assistant chief of enforcement. "The crew of the Mohawk and their embarked HITRON helicopter crew flawlessly executed another successful at-sea interdiction. As part of Operation Martillo, they successfully denied drug smugglers from bringing illegal narcotics into the Central American transhipment route and ultimately prevented these drugs from crossing national borders."