U.S. Coast Guard offloads thousands of pounds of drugs in Port Everglades

27,300 pounds of cocaine, 11,000 pounds of marijuana offloaded

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded tons of cocaine and marijuana Monday at Port Everglades.

The Coast Guard Cutter James crew offloaded approximately 27,300 pounds of seized cocaine worth an estimated $367 million and 11,000 pounds of seized marijuana worth an estimated $10.1 million.

"The crew of James, operating in the dark of the night and under challenging conditions, drove our boat, flew our helicopters to interdict drug smugglers operating a variety of vessels," Capt. Jeffery Randall said.

The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Caribbean basin and the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico and Central and South America.

The contraband was seized in 18 separate interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by the U.S. Coast Guard over the course of 6-8 weeks.

The operation had outside help. Seven of the 18 interdictions involved Colombia's navy guard.

"Drug trafficking is a tragedy and a threat that is taking lives and tearing apart urban and suburban communities in the United States, as well as the urban villages of Colombia," Jose Amezquita Garcia, of the Colombia Navy, said.

Forty-seven smugglers were detained in the process.

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