Coast Guard offloads more than 12 tons of cocaine at Port Everglades

Drugs worth estimated $378 million interdicted off Central, South America

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than 12 tons of cocaine Thursday at Port Everglades.

According to a Coast Guard news release, the drugs were interdicted in international waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean between mid-October and late November.

The drugs were seized from suspected smuggling vessels off the coast of Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters and a Royal Canadian Navy ship.

Sky 10 was flying above the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba as its crew was offloading the drugs.

"I am extremely proud of the professionalism and tireless dedication of the crew of Escanaba," Cmdr. Michael Turdo, commanding officer of the Escanaba, said. "Escanaba seized over 6 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $202 million during the interdiction of five suspected drug smuggling vessels. The crew's contributions over the past two months directly support our government's efforts to dismantle smuggling routes used by transnational criminal organizations and interdict drugs at sea bound for the United States."

Five interdictions were made by the Coast Guard cutter Thetis and one interdiction was made the Coast Guard cutter Spencer.

The drugs are worth an estimated $378 million in street value.

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