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Coast Guard delivers more than 7 tons of seized cocaine

The Coast Guard seized a low-profile go-fast boat that has powerful engines but floats mostly below the waterline and is painted sea-green to make it difficult to spot on the ocean. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray/U.S. Coast Guard)

More than 7 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $211 million has arrived at Port Everglades.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mohawk made the delivery, early Thursday, after several missions in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Four Coast Guard cutters seized seven suspected drug smuggling vessels and recovered two floating bale fields off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America in recent weeks, the Coast Guard said.

They also seized a new boat designed to be stealthy, said Commanding Officer Bob Kinsey at a Port Everglades news conference.

“A relatively new development is the use of low-profile go-fast vessels,” he said.

It looks like a high-speed cigarette boat with two powerful engines but floats mostly below the waterline and is painted sea green to make it difficult to spot on the ocean.

“It’s very difficult to see,” Kinsey said. “We have a lot of professional pilots that are flying maritime patrols out there with the U.S. Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and others that are very helpful in spotting these vessels.”

He said drug smugglers are very adaptable and inventive.

“Never say never when you’re talking about traffickers,” he said. “They’re going to use technology (and) every advantage that they can get to subvert our maritime enforcement.”

But, this latest drug seizure has an impact.

“This is a significant hit to those traffickers,” Kinsey said.

The Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security joined with the Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the drug interdiction operations.

“It’s truly a team effort,” he said.


© 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.