US Coast Guard Seizes $1 Billion Worth Of Cocaine And Marijuana

The US Coast Guard has seized 70,000lbs of cocaine and marijuana worth more than $1billion after a month-long operation off the coast of South America.

The Fort Lauderdale haul of illegal narcotics brought home by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter James was one of the biggest in recent history, a reflection of increasingly sophisticated U.S. arsenal that includes powerful drones and special infrared cameras that can detect heat from small cocaine-laden vessels.

But it also highlights a recent surge in narcotics coming from Colombia, a close U.S. ally and the world’s top producer of cocaine.

The Biden administration’s top anti-narcotics officials traveled to South Florida to welcome back the vessel’s crew and tout the Coast Guard’s role interdicting drugs before they reach American streets.

The Fort Lauderdale haul of illegal narcotics brought home by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter James was one of the biggest in recent history, a reflection of increasingly sophisticated U.S. arsenal that includes powerful drones and special infrared cameras that can detect heat from small cocaine-laden vessels

But it also highlights a recent surge in narcotics coming from Colombia, a close U.S. ally and the world’s top producer of cocaine

The Biden administration’s top anti-narcotics officials traveled to South Florida to welcome back the vessel’s crew and tout the Coast Guard’s role interdicting drugs before they reach American streets

A man walks amidst bundles of seized cocaine and marijuana, as the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies prepare to unload

Law enforcement officers watch over more than 54,500 pounds of cocaine and 15,800 pounds of marijuana
‘We are hitting the drug traffickers where it hits them most: their pocketbooks,’ said Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Gupta said the Biden administration is seeking to increase the U.S. government´s budget to build up the nation´s addiction treatment infrastructure and reduce the supply of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and other drugs.

But the record busts of late by the Coast Guard, federal law enforcement and partner nations also underscores how little the flow of cocaine coming from Latin America has eased since President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs a half century ago.

Coca cultivation in Colombia in 2020 soared to 245000 hectares (945 square miles), enough to produce 1,010 metric tons of cocaine, according to the White House’s latest report on harvesting trends in the Andean region. As recently as 2014, potential production was less than half that amount. Production in Peru and Bolivia has also steadily risen.

‘We are hitting the drug traffickers where it hits them most: their pocketbooks,’ said Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy

Gupta said the Biden administration is seeking to increase the U.S. government´s budget to build up the nation´s addiction treatment infrastructure and reduce the supply of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and other drugs

But the record busts of late by the Coast Guard, federal law enforcement and partner nations also underscores how little the flow of cocaine coming from Latin America has eased since President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs a half century ago

Coca cultivation in Colombia in 2020 soared to 245000 hectares (945 square miles), enough to produce 1,010 metric tons of cocaine, according to the White House’s latest report on harvesting trends in the Andean region

U.S. Coast Guard officers watch over more than 54,500 pounds of cocaine and 15,800 pounds of marijuana, according to the U.S. Coast Guard

Packages of cocaine and marijuana seized from multiple interdictions are seen on deck before being unloaded from U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James in Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale

Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta speaks to the media before the offload of approximately $1.06 Billion in cocaine, marijuana

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard walk with other politicians and officials past he Coast Guard Cutter James, as the Coast Guard prepared to unload more than one billion dollars worth of seized cocaine and marijuana
Admiral Karl Schultz, the U.S. Coast Guard commander, said those numbers would be even higher, and the destabilizing impact on the region from transnational criminal organizations even worse, if not for the U.S. interdiction efforts.

‘Does it matter? It absolutely matters because it kind of keeps a lid on things,’ he said.

He was echoed by Ambassador Todd Robinson, who leads the State Department’s bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

‘It’s not just always about seizures,’ said Robinson, who previously served as the U.S.’ top diplomat in Guatemala and Venezuela, two major transit zones for Colombian cocaine. ‘It’s also about building our partners’ capacity.’

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10525113/amp/U-S-Coast-Guard-offloads-1-billion-worth-narcotics.html

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