Coast Guard recovers 3 tons of cocaine off Florida coast

Published On: Dec 05 2012 10:18:37 AM EST

U.S. Coast Guard crews unloaded nearly three tons of cocaine -- worth about $55 million -- at Port Canaveral Tuesday after the 75-bale load was found at sea.

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa, based in Portsmouth, Va., pulled in more than 5,000 pounds of cocaine, after suspected drug smugglers ditched the contraband while making a getaway, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Lauren Jorgensen said in a news release.

The Coast Guard received information from a Canadian Maritime Patrol Aircraft alerting them to the suspected smugglers.  A helicopter crew from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron launched from the Tampa to stop the suspicious vessel. The boat then fled after dumping the cocaine.

"The entire operation ran like clockwork," said Cmdr. Susan Polizzotto, commanding officer of the Tampa. "The cutter and helicopter crews did exceptionally well on this important mission and we recognize the vital support of international partners that enables us to keep dangerous drugs off our streets."

The drug bust was part of Operation Martillo, a United States government effort to curb the movement of drugs, weapons and cash in Central American waters, according to the Coast Guard.

In early November, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, based in Port Canaveral, returned to port after an eight-week patrol as part of Operation Martillo. In that time, the crew seized more than 5,300 pounds of cocaine worth about $64 million.


The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus