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$23 million of cocaine seized

Crew members of the US Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge offloaded 1,500 pounds of cocaine worth a wholesale value of $23 million at the dock at US Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg on March 17, 2014. The drugs were seized on March 12 during a patrol of the western Caribbean by crew members aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Tampa with assistance from the US Customs and Border Protection. 695 packages of cocaine were seized. Several suspects were taken into custody and transferred to FBI and DEA officials. The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Tampa detected a suspicious fast moving vessel in international waters. A US Customs and Border Patrol Maritime Patrol helicopter provided air oversight of the vessel and fired warning shots at the vessel to stop it. [Scott Keeler |]

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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