Coast Guard seizes 18,000 lbs of suspected cocaine worth estimated $312 million

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Thursday, December 19, 2019
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Coast Guard Cutters seized 18,000 pounds of suspected cocaine, worth an estimated value of $312 million dollars. This video is from one of the busts.

SAN DIEGO -- U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf out of California has been busy for months combating international drug cartels in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

This cutter just wrapped up a successful narcotics deployment disrupting the illicit maritime trafficking of cocaine from South America, Central America and Mexico to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.

VIDEO: Coast Guardsman dramatically intercepts sub loaded with drugs in Eastern Pacific

During the deployment, the larger team seized more than 18,000 pounds of suspected cocaine, worth an estimated value of $312 million.

The U.S. Coast Guard said on their Facebook page that the contraband was seized from seven separate incidents of drug trafficking by five Coast Guard cutters operating in international waters from mid-October through early December.

The body cam video above shows when the Bertholf intercepted a semi-submersible vessel while on patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean on November 4.

RELATED: Coast Guard: Submarine found in Pacific Ocean with $165 million in cocaine

U.S. authorities said purpose-built vessels like the one they intercepted are designed to smuggle large amounts of contraband while evading detection by law enforcement personnel due to their camouflage and low profile.

The U.S. Department of Defense media service said the Bertholf seized more than 3,100 pounds of suspected cocaine from this smuggling vessel.