PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — (WFLA) A drug bust at sea lands four smugglers behind bars. Law enforcement interdict several vessels carrying cocaine worth millions, in the Caribbean Sea.
The U.S. Coast Guard, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy seized 150 kilograms of cocaine estimated at $5 million.
The cocaine was seized during two interdictions, following a two-week investigation. Officials call the sting Operation Unified Resolve.
In one case, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 407 aboard the USS Shamal, spotted a sailboat in the Caribbean Sea.
Agents boarded the boat and located 75 kilograms of cocaine.
Later, law enforcement interdicted another boat, also carrying 75 kilograms of cocaine. Four suspects were arrested and transported to U.S. authorities.
“It’s multiple techniques and procedures that are done every day, in conjunction with those partner agencies,” said Petty Officer Second Class, Ashley J. Johnson. “We’re constantly out there. We have law enforcement detachment teams aboard multiple ships, including the U.S. Navy and coast guard ships out there countering narcotics.”
The drugs will be processed through the Coast Guard and handed over to the Department of Justice. The suspects are now in custody.