Members of the U.S. Coast Guard in St. Petersburg today offloaded $18 million in cocaine that was seized in two separate cases.
Crew members aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket received the shipment in the Gulf of Mexico in November.
The first case occurred Nov. 20 when the the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin deployed its Dolphin helicopter crew, which detected a 25-foot vessel north of Punta de Mosquito, Panama, in international waters. The crew saw the individuals on board throwing the suspected contraband overboard, and recovered 14 bales of contraband.
The second occurred on Nov. 25, when Gallatin’s deployed helicopter crew detected a 30-foot fishing vessel northwest of Columbia in international waters. The crew recovered 10 bales that were thrown overboard and tested positive for cocaine.
The crew observed the suspected smugglers jettisoning packages. The Gallatin deployed a smallboat and crew who arrived on scene and recovered 10 bales of contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.