A Jacksonville-based U.S. Coast Guard crew intercepted over 12,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, worth over $165 million.
While on routine patrol earlier this month, the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant crew interdicted a self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel in international waters that was carrying approximately six tons of cocaine and four suspected drug smugglers, officials said in a statement.
The Valiant crews recovered the drugs using two small boats with teams made up of their team and two members of the Coast Guard Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team.
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Some of the cocaine was recovered and offloaded to the Valiant during the operation. The remaining cocaine on the sub could not be safely taken out due to stability concerns of the vessel.
The Coast Guard was assisted by Colombian Naval assets.
"There are no words to describe the feeling Valiant crew is experiencing right now," said Commander. Matthew Waldron, Valiant’s Commanding Officer. “...We could not have successfully completed this interdiction without the love and support of our families back home, many of whom evacuated from Jacksonville this week for Hurricane Dorian. To the Valiant families, a heartfelt ‘Thank You!’”