BOSTON - The Coast Guard seized more than 1,200 pounds of cocaine and detained two suspected smugglers during an at-sea interdiction, September 2, approximately 500 miles east of Cape Cod.
The drug shipment is estimated to have a wholesale value of more than $20 million.
On Monday, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable interdicted the 49-foot sailing vessel Elegance, which claimed Canadian registry, after it was observed riding suspiciously low in the water.
After consultation with Canada, the Dependable crew boarded the Elegance, removed suspected contraband and detained two crewmembers. A test revealed the contraband to be cocaine.
Both crewmembers and the contraband were brought aboard the Dependable and the Elegance was taken in tow behind the cutter.
The cutter arrived at Coast Guard Sector Boston to unload the contraband and transfer custody of the two detainees and cocaine to awaiting U.S. Marshall Service and Drug Enforcement Administration officials in Boston, Friday. Customs and Border Protection teams were also present to assist.
"A case like this is about delivering the results Americans are looking for from government agencies," said Lt. Joe Klinker, the 1st Coast Guard District public affairs officer. "This was a Coast Guard ship, alongside federal law enforcement partners, coordinating with Canadian counterparts. A lot of planning and a lot of teamwork led to big results."
The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable is a 210-foot Medium Endurance cutter homeported in Cape May, N.J.
On average, the Coast Guard nationwide seizes 306 pounds of cocaine each day. Since September 2012, the Coast Guard has seized 44,000 pounds of cocaine in partnership with regional law enforcement authorities.