Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy gathered on a San Diego dock Thursday, to announce the largest drug seizure in agency history – more than 14 tons of cocaine. The announcement came as officers unloaded the seized shipment from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell.
The drugs, with a nominal street value of $424 million, were captured in 19 separate seizures in drug transit zones near Central and South America.
The 28,000 pound seizure was so large that the drugs had to be taken off the ship by a crane and a conveyor belt.
The Coast Guard says the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, has already had the most seizures since 2009. The amount of cocaine taken for the fiscal year so far is reported to be over 28 tons, worth more than $848 million. Authorities say over 100 smugglers have also been apprehended.
The Coast Guard said in one incident, more than 10 tons of cocaine were confiscated from a single freighter in what is called the largest maritime drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific Ocean since 2009.