Coast Guard nabs $52 million in drugs - FOX 13 News

Coast Guard nabs $52 million in drugs

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U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Crystalynn A. Kneen U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Crystalynn A. Kneen
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Crystalynn A. Kneen U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Crystalynn A. Kneen
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

More than $52 million worth of drugs, seized in international waters off the coast of Central America, were offloaded by the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa's crew at the Port of Tampa on Friday.

According to the Coast Guard, the contraband came from two separate interdictions in the western Caribbean Sea.

A joint effort between the crews aboard the Coast Guard cutters Forward and Venturous resulted in the seizure of more than 35 pounds of cocaine from a 40-foot go-fast vessel and a 25-foot go-fast vessel on July 22. The crews took 12 suspects into custody and seized approximately $430,000 worth of contraband.

Then Monday, the Tampa's crew boarded a 25-foot go-fast vessel and detained five suspected smugglers. The vessel was carrying more than 4,200 pounds of cocaine and marijuana, worth approximately $52 million.

"Seizures at sea are the most efficient and cost-effective way to keep contraband off the streets of America," Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, 7th Coast Guard District assistant chief of enforcement, said in a USGC statement announcing the operation. "The crews of the Venturous, Forward, and Tampa performed admirably during these interdictions."

During the same patrol, Tampa's crewmembers rescued three people aboard the 41-foot recreational boat, Poseidon IV, disabled and adrift for two days in the Caribbean Sea.

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