(CMC) — The United States Coast Guard says a crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer offloaded in Port Everglades, Florida about 4,810 kilos of cocaine worth over US$160.3 million.
The drug was seized in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Along with the illicit narcotics, the US Coast Guard said eight suspected smugglers who were also apprehended, face prosecution in US federal court by the US Department of Justice.
The US Coast Guard said the offloaded drugs were interdicted during three separate operations in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The crews were from the US Coast Guard Cutter Spencer (WMEC 905), USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) with embarked USCG Law Enforcement Detachment 104, Royal Netherlands Navy Ship HNLMS Holland (P840) with embarked USCG Law Enforcement Detachment 40, and a USCG Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron helicopter.
The US Coast Guard said that, initially, a suspect vessel was “detected and monitored” by US or allied military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida.
“Once interdiction becomes imminent, the law enforcement phase of the operation begins, and control of the operation shifts to the US Coast Guard throughout the interdiction and apprehension,” it said.