The Coast Guard is unloading the latest stash of cocaine nabbed from smugglers off the Eastern Pacific Ocean — all 26.5 tons of it.
The cocaine, which weighs about as much as four male elephants, was seized in 27 separate missions, plus five bale recovery operations. It has an estimated street value of $715 million wholesale.
The Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Naval Crews and interagency partners took the drugs from smuggling boats found along the coasts of Central and South America. Boats suspected of smuggling are tracked by military or law enforcement, but the boarding of the ship is done by U.S. Coast Guardsmen.
“This not only showcases the threat posed by dangerous cartels, gangs and criminal groups that make up extensive transitional organized crime networks, but it also highlights the commitment of the Coast Guard and its interagency partner’s efforts to detect, interdict, investigate and prosecute operatives for these criminal networks,” said Vice Adm. Karl Schultz, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, in a statement.