Despite drug runners’ creative use of go-fast boats and semisubmersible subs to move contraband into the United States, the Coast Guard remains adept at nabbing drugs at sea.
Members of Coast Guard Base Miami Beach recently interdicted 245 pounds of cocaine and 4,420 pounds of marijuana in the Caribbean Sea as part of Operation Martillo and Unified Resolve.
Watch them offload the wrapped bricks to get a sense of the sheer mass of drugs they’ve seized.
The Coast Guard estimates the wholesale value of the drugs to be $41 million.
In one case a Coast Guard aircraft located a suspicious go-fast boat southeast of the Dominican Republic and a Coast Guard cutter interdicted the go-fast vessel as the suspects jettisoned packages into the water. Multiple packages remained on the boat and the three suspects aboard were taken into custody.
The suspected smugglers were transferred to U.S. authorities for prosecution.
“We have to keep these drugs from penetrating our borders. More importantly, we have to get after the organized criminal networks that fuel the violence and instability in the Western Hemisphere,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of law enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District.
This has been a record year for the Coast Guard. Since October 2014 it has removed more than 140 tons of cocaine (worth $4.3 billion), the most since 2008.
The Coast Guard and its federal partners also have brought nearly 500 alleged smugglers in more than 200 cases in for prosecution and seized more than 135 boats — both record highs. The numbers include seizures on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.