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US Coast Guard Cutter Seizes $1 Billion in Drugs

A palette loaded with seized cocaine and marijuana is lowered by a crane, as the U.S. Coast Guard unloads more than one billion dollars worth of seized drugs from the Coast Guard Cutter James, at Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Feb. 17, 2022

The U.S Coast Guard reports one of its cutters, the James, has offloaded $1.06 billion in illegal drugs seized during a 90-day patrol of the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean.

In a press release, the Coast Guard said the ship’s crew set records during its three-month patrol for the largest single cocaine interdiction worth $206.4 million, and the largest single marijuana interdiction worth $3.59 million, which is the greatest amount of contraband interdicted during an eastern Pacific patrol.

The drugs were offloaded at Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Thursday.

The Coast Guard said several U.S. government agencies cooperated in the effort to seize the drugs and crack down on international drug trafficking by cartels in the eastern Pacific and Caribbean. Those agencies include the U.S. departments of defense, justice and homeland security.

The release did not say if any charges were filed in connection with the seizures.

The Associated Press reports the head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Rahul Gupta, who greeted the ship as it came to port, said U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking to increase the U.S. government’s budget to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and other drugs, as well as boost the nation’s drug addiction treatment facilities.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.