Coast Guard unloads $45 million in seized cocaine in St. Petersburg

12:59 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- The US Coast Guard Cutter Decisive  unloaded nearly 4,000 pounds of seized cocaine in St. Pete this morning.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the seized cocaine

The cocaine has a street value of about $45 million.

The cocaine is coming from two separate seizures at sea. On November 25, the Coast Guard along with the Caribbean regional law enforcement seized more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Dominican Republic.

The suspects tossed the bales of cocaine once they realized they had been spotted. The drug traffickers got away, but the Coast Guard still managed to picked up the 38 bales of cocaine that had spread out to a three-mile area.

Two days later on November 27, a second seizure of nearly 2,000 pounds of cocaine occured at sea from a sailing vessel which was also located south of Dominican Republic.

The two seizures are part of Operation Unified Resolve to detect and stop illicit drug trafficking in and around Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"There's been a recent rise in crime in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. They suspect it's correlated with illegal drug trafficking, so they've recently ramped up Coast Guard presence hoping to stem that tide of illegal drugs," said Lt. Kjell Rammerdahl with the US Coast Guard.

Over the last five months of the operation, the Coast Guard has seized more than 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 6,900 pounds of marijuana as part of the operation. The street value of all of the drug seized is worth $262 million.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is unloading another big seizure Wednesday morning on the east coast in Port Canaveral. The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa, which is homeported in Virginia, unloaded 5,000 pounds of cocaine, valued at $55 million.

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