U.S. Coast Guard offloads more than $11 million in drugs in Miami Beach

Cocaine, marijuana seized in Caribbean Sept. 3

(Courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than $11 million in drugs in Miami Beach Friday that were recently interdicted in the Caribbean Sea.

The drugs included 254 kilograms of cocaine, worth about $8.5 million and 3,662 pounds of marijuana worth about $3.3 million.

Officials said the drugs were seized in two different incidences on Sept. 3.

The cocaine was found in a hidden compartment on a Panamanian-flagged boat southeast of Nicaragua.

The suspected drug smugglers were taken into custody and were transferred to law enforcement officials in Tampa on Saturday.

The marijuana was discovered after the Coast Guard received a report of three people clinging to a capsized boat. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant arrived at the scene and rescued three people from the nearly sunk boat.

Officials said 68 bales of marijuana were floating in the water nearby.

"These seizures highlight the hard work and dedication of the U.S. Coast Guard and our interagency and international partners in stopping illegal drugs from reaching the streets of the U.S. and those of our Caribbean neighbors," Lt. Earl Potter, commanding officer of the Miami-based Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered, said.

Since October 2014, the Coast Guard has confiscated about $4.3 billion worth of cocaine, the most since 2008.  The Coast Guard and its federal partners have also brought 439 smugglers in for prosecution and seized 135 vessels, both record highs.  

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