US Coast Guard Offloads $56M Worth of Cocaine in Florida - NBC Southern California
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US Coast Guard Offloads $56M Worth of Cocaine in Florida

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    The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded an estimated $56 million worth of cocaine and transferred eight suspected drug smugglers in St. Petersburg. (Published Thursday, May 4, 2017)

    Operation Martillo netted and offloaded an estimated $56 million worth of cocaine in Florida, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    More than 1,730 kilograms of cocaine were seized and eight suspected drug smugglers were detained between April 12 and April 21 by Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Teams in coastal waters along the Central American coastline.

    The drugs were offloaded and suspected drug smugglers were transferred by the crew of the Cutter Tarpon homedocked in St. Petersburg.

    “Overall, this offload represents our recent success in securing our borders and preventing illegal, regionally destabilizing narcotics from reaching our streets,” said Cmdr. Willy Carmichael, assistant branch chief of Coast Guard 7th District Response Enforcement.

    Martillo is an international operation launched in 2012 to counter illicit trafficking by merging air, land and maritime assets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The operation has supported the seizure of nearly 693 metric tons of cocaine, $25 million in bulk cash, 581 vessels and aircraft and more than 1,800 detainees, according to the U.S. Southern Command.