Massive Drug Seizure in Fort Lauderdale – $400 Million
At Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the U.S. Coast Goard confiscated a drug seizure including approximately 13 tons of drugs on April 24. According to the press release from the Coast Guard, the drugs included around 12 tons of cocaine and nearly one ton of marijuana.
The street value of the drugs was estimated at nearly $400 million dollars. The drugs were confiscated off the coasts of Central America and South America.
The drugs seized were offloaded from ships in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and were the combined total of interdictions by six different Coast Guard cutters and two vessels from the Canadian Navy.
The Cutter Legare was responsible for most of the seizures, which included a total of eight marijuana kilos and more than 2,000 kilos of cocaine over a period of five investigations of ships that were suspected to be involved in drug smuggling. The Legare is based in Portsmouth, Virginia, and was used to offload the narcotics in Port Everglades on April 24.
Authorities stressed the cooperation of law enforcement agencies involved, as well as the cooperation of the Justice Department, The Defense Department, and Homeland Security.
These at-seas interdictions are often a multi-step process, and law enforcement and military personnel are responsible for identifying and tracking vessels, while drug seizures are conducted by the Coast Guard.
Cmdr. Jonathon Carter, per the New York Post:
“What these numbers represent is an increased commitment by the US and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability in the Central American region, along the US southern border, and in the southern maritime approaches to the US. Today’s offload sends them a message that our network of partners and allies remains resolute in our commitment to stem the flow of illicit trafficking that breeds instability.”
US Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Brandon Murray also told The Post that the confiscated drugs are typically sent to federal labs for testing, with some kept as evidence for subsequent trials.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology