Photo credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard has seized nearly 35,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of cocaine from apparent drug smuggling vessels in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
The drugs were off-loaded Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Cmdr. Michael Sharp told reporters the drugs were found over the last three months aboard fishing vessels and go-fast boats outfitted to conceal contraband and evade authorities.
Six crews seized the drugs from 21 separate vessels stopped in Pacific waters off Mexico and Central and South America. Sharp said the drugs had a wholesale value of roughly $466 million.
The guard's commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, said in the last few years, crews have seized 1.3 million pounds (0.6 million kilograms) of cocaine and detained 1,200 suspects at sea.
Schultz said most of the drugs originate in Colombia and are destined for the U.S.