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U.S. Coast Guard offloads nearly $14 million worth of drugs

3,100 pounds of marijuana, more than 720 pounds of cocaine seized

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded thousands of pounds of drugs in Miami Beach Friday morning in a recent heist.

Coast Guard officials said 3,100 pounds of marijuana and more than 720 pounds of cocaine were offloaded at its South Florida base.

The drugs have an estimated value of about $13.7 million.

The drugs came from two separate seizures by the Coast Guard off the coast of Colombia and Panama.

Officials said crew members followed a suspicious vessel northwest of Colombia on May 22. The vessel beached itself on St. Lucia Island, where crew members recovered 14 bales of cocaine from the boat.

On May 27, crew members were sent to another suspicious vessel after helicopter crews witnessed packages being thrown overboard. Officials recovered 62 bales of marijuana.

Four people, who are Costa Rica nationals, were taken into custody, officials said.

"These individual seizures not only keep drugs off the streets and reduce the destabilizing effects they have on society, but they get our investigatory agencies one step closer to disabling the transnational criminal organizations that threaten the prosperity and security of free nations," said Cmdr. Tim Cronin, the Coast Guard's 7th District deputy chief of enforcement.

The Coast Guard crew aboard the cutter will return home after spending two months at sea during the operation.

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