17,000 Pounds of Drugs Seized in Florida

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Emily Vargas

17,000 Pounds of Drugs Seized in Florida
Droga incautada por la Guardia Costera - Imagen de © news.uscg.mi

The United States Coast Guard offloaded a cargo of more than 17,000 pounds (approximately 7,700 kilograms) of drugs this past weekend at Port Everglades, located in southern Florida. The estimated value of the narcotics is around $185 million.

In total, the coastguards confiscated 13,803 pounds (6,266 kilograms) of cocaine and 3,736 pounds (1,696 kilograms) of marijuana. Along with the narcotics, ten alleged smugglers were arrested and will face criminal proceedings in U.S. federal courts.

Coast Guard's Multi-Operation Success

The offloading, which resulted from six different operations, was carried out by the crew of the USCGC Mohawk following a week-long patrol in international waters in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.

"Our offload today represents the combined efforts of U.S. and allied military units from a Caribbean coalition of partners working together to deny drug trafficking organizations access to maritime smuggling routes," stated Commander David Ratner of the USCGC Mohawk in a press release.

Ratner praised the hard work of the Mohawk's crew and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to operate with interagency and NATO partners in support of U.S. National Security.

A portion of the seized drugs originated from a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel that was intercepted. The operations leading to the drug confiscations are the result of investigations conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which is tasked with "identifying, disrupting, and dismantling the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States."

The periodic operations by U.S. authorities to seize drugs in international waters often coincide with the accidental discoveries made by beachgoers or fishermen who find packages of narcotics on the beaches or offshore.

Recently, a beachgoer found a package containing 65 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1 million, on a Florida Keys beach, according to authorities. Several similar incidents were reported by authorities in 2023.

Earlier in October, Border Patrol agents seized 67 pounds of cocaine also discovered on a beach, specifically Daytona Beach. At that time, the then-chief of the Miami Sector of the Border Patrol, Walter N. Slosar, indicated that the found drugs had an estimated street value of approximately $970,000.

A few months prior, in August, Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne was closed to the public after kite surfers found a block of cocaine in the sea. Also in August 2023, another similar-sized block of cocaine was discovered in the Florida Keys by lobster fishermen who alerted the authorities.

In July, yet another similar brick of cocaine—this one weighing 2.7 pounds and valued at $41,000—was seized in the Florida Keys after a good samaritan found it while sailing.

Questions About Drug Seizures in Florida

Here are some frequently asked questions concerning the recent drug seizures in Florida and the operations conducted by U.S. authorities.

How much was the estimated value of the seized drugs?

The estimated value of the seized drugs is around $185 million.

What was the total weight of the confiscated narcotics?

The total weight of the confiscated narcotics was over 17,000 pounds, including 13,803 pounds of cocaine and 3,736 pounds of marijuana.

Who conducted the drug seizures?

The drug seizures were conducted by the United States Coast Guard, specifically the crew of the USCGC Mohawk, as part of a coalition with allied military units and interagency partners.

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