Coast Guard seizes $420M in cocaine from Canadian boats

The drugs have a street value of over $1 billion, WSVN reported.

More than 30 people have been arrested and more than $550 million worth of cocaine seized in a massive drug bust off the coasts of Central and South America in the Pacific.

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HMCS Saskatoon, based at CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia, and a US vessel - Guard LEDET 405 - were involved in one of the raids where about a tonne of cocaine was seized.

Multiple agencies including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Coast Guard, and Navy patner with worldwide agencies in these counter-drug operations.

The almost month-long mission in the global waters of the Eastern Pacific, which included U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian and interagency partners, involved 17 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interceptions along Central and South America, the agency said in a news release.

Captain Keith Gavin, who over seas the helicopter squadron, said they average about 12 interdictions a month.

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Five of the searches were conducted by the Coast Guard's helicopter interdiction squad, which alone seized 5.19 tons of the total load.

U.S. Coast Guard officials say the Canadian vessel was involved in one case, seizing an estimated one tonne of cocaine.

"They're not just carrying cocaine".

Over 17 separate suspected drug-smuggling vessels were intercepted in Central and South America, the agency said in a news release.

"I am extremely proud of the crew of Coast Guard Cutter James and our embarked HITRON aviation detachment for a highly successful inaugural patrol", said Vice Adm. Karl Schultz, commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area. They're delivering violence, corruption and instability.

  • Megan Austin