MIAMI, Fla. — A U.S. Coast Guard Cutter docked in Miami, Florida, with about 5,500 pounds of cocaine, worth about $94.6 million.
On April 9, a patrol flight spotted a low profile vessel off the coast of Punta Gallinas, Colombia.
Cutter Tampa intercepted 87 bales of cocaine and detained three suspects.
All suspects were given food, water, shelter and basic medical attention aboard the cutter, and Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19. None of the suspects had any COVID-19 related symptoms.
The vessel was destroyed because it was a hazard to navigation.
The interdiction comes about a year after U.S. Southern Command launched Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations in the Western Hemisphere.
On April 1, 2020,, command bolstered support to U.S. and partner national law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence.
Since then, the Coast Guard’s key partners have been involved in more than 60% of drug disruptions, up from 50% in 2019.
“This event is the perfect example of numerous key partners unifying our efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations who look to exploit the maritime environment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, Seventh District public affairs officer. “By strengthening partnerships, we counter threats together.”