US Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton unloaded about 18.5 tons of
cocaine worth $498 million seized in 20 separate
incidents in international waters in the eastern
The drugs were intercepted off the coasts of Central and South
America by six Coast Guard cutters and a Royal Canadian ship
sailing with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment team.
The drugs were offloaded at Port Everglades, Florida.
The eastern Pacific has become a main smuggling route for
cocaine headed to Central America and Mexico, which are the
corridor for most of the cocaine brought into the US.
With an estimated value of $498 million, the haul would be worth
about $29,000 a kilo. When the Coast Guard unloaded a seizure of
16 tons of cocaine earlier this year, officials said that haul
would be worth more than $1
billion, or about $70,000 a kilo, on the retail market.
At that $70,000 price, the drugs unloaded on Thursday would be
worth nearly $1.2 billion.
US Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton was responsible for most of the
seizures, bringing in an estimated 5,359 kilos of
cocaine in six cases. Two other cutters brought in more than
2,500 kilos each, while all five US Coast Guard cutters involved
each seized over 1,000 kilos.
“The 18.5 tons of seized cocaine coming off our decks today
is the product of partnerships and the collaboration of US
Southern Command, Joint Interagency Task Force-South, the
Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Justice,
the Canadian Navy, and many of our international maritime service
partners,” Capt. Scott Clendenin, commanding officer of…