Cocaine and cannabis seizure is the largest ever for Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton

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U.S Coast Guard

U.S. vessel offloads about $640 million worth of illegal drugs at Port Everglades in Florida.

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton recently offloaded more than 13 tons of cocaine and almost two tons of cannabis in Florida, with the hefty haul estimated to be worth US$504 million ($640 million).

Called the largest drug interdiction in the ship’s history, the approximately 26,250 pounds (11,907 kilograms) of cocaine and about 3,700 pounds (1,678.3 kg) of cannabis were intercepted and seized in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America.

The total included contraband seized and recovered during eight interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by three other U.S. and Canadian ships, notes a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I could not be prouder of this crew and their determination to keeping more than 26,000 pounds of cocaine from reaching the shores of Central and North America,” Capt. Matthew Brown, the ship’s commanding officer, said in the statement.

“It has been a dynamic two and half months for this ship with some very difficult law enforcement cases,” Brown continues, adding that the efforts have resulted in the apprehension of 14 suspected drug traffickers.

While quite impressive, Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, a 127-metre national security cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C., did not best another recently set record, this time by Coast Guard Cutter James.

In August, that ship’s crew came to shore with about 59,700 pounds (27,079 kilograms) of cocaine and 1,430 pounds (649 kg) of cannabis. The value of that massive load was estimated at more than US$1.4 billion ($1.8 billion).

In late 2020, the same ship offloaded more than US$411.3 million ($526.5 million) worth of cocaine and cannabis in Florida.

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