BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded a whopping $1.4 billion worth of cocaine and marijuana Thursday at Port Everglades from various interdictions at sea.
According to officials, this is the largest illegal narcotics offload in Coast Guard history.
Officials say the 59,700 pounds of cocaine and 1,430 pounds of marijuana were seized during 20 separate interdictions in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Canadian officials.
“We know that no nation can do it alone and we are stronger together,” said Canadian Defense Attaché Gen. Paul Ormsby.
According to authorities, four of those interdictions occurred within a 10-day span, which they said was extraordinary since finding drug smuggling boats out on the water is like searching for “a needle in a haystack.”
Coast Guard leaders praised the sailors for their hard work, who they said dealt with difficult conditions on the water, plus the hardship that comes from leaving their families for an extended period of time, especially during a global pandemic.
Officials said transnational criminal organizations are the biggest threat for counties in the regions where the drugs were seized and the criminal organizations also pose a serious risk to the U.S. as 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020.
“This crew and their efforts have struck a significant blow in the fight to combat the criminal networks,” said Capt. Todd Vance, of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James.
Officials said the amount of drugs seized during these recent interdictions is double of what was seized in fall of last year.