Charleston-based Coast Guard cutter seizes more than 19,000 pounds of cocaine

Charleston-based Coast Guard cutter seizes more than 19,000 pounds of cocaine
Pictured is the Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) crew, Claire M. Grady, acting Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary, Adm. Karl Schultz, Coast Guard Commandant, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Adm. Peter Brown, commander of Coast Guard 7th District with 18.5 tons of interdicted cocaine on deck Nov. 15, 2018 in Port Everglades, Florida. The crew of the cutter James offloaded approximately 18.5 tons of cocaine in Port Everglades worth more than an estimated $495 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally. (Krueger, Nick)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Coast Guard cutter based in Charleston recently seized 19,000 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean, according to Joint Base Charleston officials.

The drugs, intercepted off the coasts of Mexico as well as Central and South America, were worth more than an estimated $500 million.

Multiple cutters recently offloaded drugs from 15 seperate suspected drug smuggling boat interceptions on Nov. 15, totaling roughly 37,000 pounds of cocaine. but Cutter James was responsible for the most drugs seized with nine cases weighing in at 19,288 pounds.

The cutter James measures 418 feet long and is a legend-class cutter.

When Coast Guard boats intercept boats in international waters, the boat is tracked by military and law enforcement personnel before its boarded by U.S. Coast Guardsmen.

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