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Coast Guard Unloads A Lot Of Cocaine At Port Everglades

Peter Haden
The Coast Guard Cutter James offloads six tons of seized cocaine to authorities at Port Everglades on May 10, 2018.

Six tons of South American cocaine destined for the United States arrived Thursday, but not as originally intended.

The drugs were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard and offloaded to authorities at Port Everglades.

The cargo came from an ocean away.

The Coast Guard’s Southeast District operates out of Miami, but some of its ships hunt for smugglers in the Eastern Pacific. Such was the case for the USCG Cutter James that rolled into Port Everglades with nearly $180 million of intercepted cocaine.

Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor says the drugs were seized on six different occasions, but all in typical form: smugglers running small, multiple-engine speed boats called “go-fasts,” and always running at night.

“They leave Colombia and they run hundreds of miles -- sometimes thousands of miles -- to get to their destination, either in Central America or Mexico,” Fedor said.

That’s where the drugs would have been offloaded and run north on land across the U.S. border, according to Fedor.

“Each of those bales is really the embodiment of violence, corruption and instability in a region, Central America, that just can’t absorb it,” Fedor said. “So when we see those problems arise on our southwest border, cocaine is the genesis of those problems.”

The cocaine was handed over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to be destroyed.