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Press Release | Jan. 9, 2024

Coast Guard offloads more than $32 million in illegal narcotics

Coast Guard Seventh District

MIAMI – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell offloaded more than 2,450 pounds of cocaine with an assessed street value of approximately $32.2 million in Miami, Tuesday. 

Coast Guard crews interdicted the illegal drugs in international waters of the Caribbean Sea during two separate cases.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Coast Guard crews and agency partners involved with this interdiction, Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell brought these suspected smugglers and illicit contraband ashore for prosecution," said Lt. Cmdr. Colin Weaver, Commanding Officer. "Coast Guard crews continue to deliver on our important missions of homeland and maritime security to save lives and thwart transnational criminal organizations operating in the Caribbean.” 

The following assets were involved in the interdictions: 

  • USCG Cutter Richard Dixon
  • USCG Cutter Dauntless
  • Joint Interagency Task Force South 

Along with the illicit narcotics, six suspected smugglers were apprehended and will face prosecution in federal courts by the Department of Justice. 

These interdictions relate to Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces designated investigations. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF program can be found here.  

Detecting and interdicting illegal drug traffickers on the high seas involves significant interagency and international coordination. The Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida conducts the detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs. Once interdiction becomes imminent, the law enforcement phase of the operation begins, and control of the operation shifts to the U.S. Coast Guard throughout the interdiction and apprehension. Interdictions in the Caribbean Sea are performed by members of the U.S. Coast Guard under the authority and control of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, headquartered in Miami.  

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