The United States Coast Guard on Friday offloaded 27,000 pounds of cocaine worth about $360 million in Miami Beach after intercepting 12 vessels suspected of smuggling drugs through the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The massive cocaine load was confiscated off the coasts of Mexico and other countries in Central and South America.
The operations took place from January to March, Vice Admiral Daniel Abel, the U.S. Coast Guard deputy commandant for operations, said in a news conference Friday morning.
Abel thanked several law enforcement agencies, including international ones, for coming together to seize the drug "in bulk form."
"If you catch it by the tons, you do not have to chase it by the kilos in the streets of Miami, Los Angeles and New York," he said.
Each metric ton is estimated to spur 30 to 40 violent murders in the host nation, the commandant said.
"These transnational criminal organizations thrive in chaos and in instability," he said, adding that those activities also "force migrants up towards the United States border."
The last major cocaine seizure by the Coast Guard was in early February, when the maritime law enforcement branch brought more than 30,000 pounds of cocaine worth $466 million.
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