Coast Guard offloads 26,000 pounds of cocaine, 1,500 pounds of marijuana

Drugs seized off coasts of Mexico, Central, South America

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded about 26,000 pounds of cocaine and 1,500 pounds of marijuana Thursday morning at Port Everglades.

Authorities said the drugs were seized in international waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America.

The contraband was confiscated during 15 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling boats by U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships, authorities said.

"The crew of Hamilton has shown the utmost commitment and dedication to the Coast Guard and to the United States over the course of the last three months," said Capt. Mark Gordon, commanding officer of the cutter Hamilton. "It is incredibly difficult for our crew to be separated from family and loved ones for such an extended period of time, but their perseverance and enthusiasm to conducting this mission was fundamental to our success. Without their determination, these criminal organizations would continue to spread fear and violence throughout the Americas."

Authorities did not disclose how many people were taken into custody during the interdictions, but said the cocaine that was seized is worth about $348 million, while the seized marijuana is worth about $1.6 million.

After months at sea, the crew of the Hamilton is glad to be back in the U.S.

"They have missed birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, left behind newborns and even missed most of the Game of Thrones final season," Gordon said. 

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