62ºF

US Coast Guard offloads more than $214 million worth of cocaine in Miami Beach

Drugs seized during 12 interdictions in Eastern Pacific Ocean

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded about eight tons of cocaine Monday morning at its Miami Beach base. The drugs were seized during various interdictions at sea between early April and late May.

Cmdr. Timothy Cronin said the drugs were discovered in the Pacific Ocean in what the Coast Guard calls a dangerous drug transit zone situated off the coasts of Central America and South America.

"The Coast Guard and our partners have increased our resources both in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean this last year to get after the drug trafficking and trade," Cronin said,

The haul comes from 12 smuggling operations that spanned a two-month period. Numerous U.S. agencies, from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Justice, were involved in the effort.

"Drugs are ultimately going to find their way into U.S. cities. (It's the) same death and distraction we see in Central America in Chicago, seen in New York and we see it here locally in Miami. We are trying to get after that," Cronin said.

Monday marks the largest drug seizure offloaded at the Miami Beach Coast Guard station in years. Authorities said the drugs will be processed and documented before they will be destroyed.

The cocaine seized has an estimated street value of more than $214 million.