Coast Guard, Canada Navy seize 26 tons of cocaine in Pacific

A view of approximately 26.5 tons of cocaine aboard Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton Dec. 15, 2016 at Port Everglades Cruiseport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton crew offloaded the cocaine Dec. 15, 2016 in Port Everglades worth an estimated $715 million wholesale seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean since Oct. 1, 2016. Coast Guard photo by Eric D. Woodall

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – More than 26 tons of cocaine worth at least $715 million have been brought ashore in Florida following multiple recent seizures by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy in the eastern Pacific.

Coast Guard officers said at a news conference Thursday that the drugs brought to Fort Lauderdale came from 27 separate vessel interdictions and five bale recovery operations off Central and South America over the past three months. Pallets containing the drugs covered the entire flight deck of the 418-foot Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton.

Authorities say about 100 suspected smugglers were detained. Some are being prosecuted in South Florida, one reason the Hamilton brought the cocaine to Port Everglades.

The U.S., Canada and others are targeting maritime smugglers who use the eastern Pacific to bring drugs north for eventual distribution.

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