OAN’s James Meyers
12:13 PM – Thursday, December 7, 2023
Over 18,000 pounds of cocaine from six separate drug smuggling events were seized last month and offloaded in San Diego, California, on Wednesday, according to authorities.
The cocaine has an estimated street value of over $239 million. It was recovered off the coasts of Central America, Mexico and South America by two U.S. Coast Guard ships in November, the Coast Guard said in a press release.
This comes after the largest seizure, which weighed over 5,500 pounds, was recovered by Coast Guard Cutter Waesche on Nov 20th, found on a narco-submarine.
“Our last interdiction of a semi-submersible vessel was noteworthy since it was the first semi-submersible interdicted in the Eastern Pacific in over three years,” said Captain Robert Mohr, the commanding officer of the Waesche.
Additionally, to go along with the drug seizures, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions against 15 people involved, which were all Mexican citizens, for their alleged roles.
In 2023, over 40 tons of cocaine have been seized so far, according to statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This was the third most seized drug behind marijuana and methamphetamines.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Tara McGrath thanked the Coast Guard in helping seize the drugs.
“The significance of keeping this much cocaine from reaching our shores and streets is, no doubt, life-changing,” said McGrath. “Without these 9 tons of cocaine on American streets, fewer people will have access to this toxic poison, and hundreds of millions of dollars will not make it into cartel coffers.”
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