Miami - The United States Coast Guard (USCG) cutter, Tampa offloaded the seized cocaine in Miami on Friday, as the USCG prepared for its destruction. This cocaine seizure was a result of 12 separate vessel interdictions, taking place over a three-month period; the street value of the seized cocaine is estimated at approximately $360 million dollars. Most of the shipments were headed to the U.S. from Mexico, Central & South America, and were captured throughout the Caribbean in an operation that started back in January. “Tampa’s crew is extremely proud of the work they accomplished over the past three months. There are few things more frustrating to our sailors than idle deployments, and none more gratifying than accomplishing a very important mission with impacts that resound across our Nation. For many of the crew, this will be their last deployment on Tampa, and it’s one they will always remember,” said Commander Nicholas Simmons, commanding officer of the Tampa. Earlier in the year, the cutter Tampa participated in the first ever joint boarding between the United States and Ecuador.
According to the USCG, the success of this joint task force suggests that collaboration between different international agencies is of significant import when trying to tackle organized crime on a massive scale. “The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Basin requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in Florida, California, New York, the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere,” said USCG in statement to the press.