Coast Guard Offloads 6 Tons of Cocaine, Worth About $435M

A boarding team member from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) holds a kilo of contraband seized from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 26, 2019. The Coast Guard’s boarding team seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the suspected drug-smuggling vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for c
A boarding team member from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) holds a kilo of contraband seized from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 26, 2019. The Coast Guard’s boarding team seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the suspected drug-smuggling vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). (U.S. Coast Guard Courtesy Photo)

The Coast Guard brought ashore more than six tons of cocaine Friday in Miami, the agency said.

Four cutters -- Seneca, Tahoma, Midgett and Valiant -- intercepted a total of eight drug smuggling vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean over the past three months, according to Cmdr. John Christensen.

The Coast Guard offered no estimate of the haul's wholesale value but a figure the DEA gave to the Sun Sentinel in 2017 might provide some insight.

Six tons, which is approximately 12,000 pounds, is approximately 5,443.1 kilos. The street value for one kilo is anywhere between $26,000 to $28,000. That equates to somewhere between $141 million and $152 million.

But purchasing kilos of cocaine at a time is highly unusual. Purchasing by the gram, usually anywhere between $20 to $50, is much more common. That would mean this much cocaine would be worth roughly $272 million to $435 million.

"These operations enable us to extend our maritime borders, weaken the economic engine of Transnational Criminal Organizations, contribute to enhancing stability and security across our partner nations within Central America, and they combat the drug epidemic within our local communities," Christensen, the commanding officer of the cutter Seneca, said.

This article is written by C. Isaiah Smalls II from Miami Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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