Seven suspected drug smuggling vessels were apprehended by the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy and federal agency teams from Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations and the Dutch Caribbean coast guard.
The drug busts happened over 10 days near the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in the Eastern Caribbean, the Coast Guard announced Friday.
According to the Coast Guard’s Seventh District in Miami, the busts resulted in more than 3,700 pounds of cocaine — worth more than $64 million by their estimation — and the capture of 19 suspected drug smugglers. These people face criminal charges by the Department of Justice.
“Seven successful drug smuggling ventures disrupted in 10 days is a clear example of the mission ready team we have here in the Seventh District’s area of responsibility,” said Rear Adm. Eric C. Jones, the Seventh Coast Guard District commander.
In April, the U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to fight the illegal flow of drugs, the Coast Guard said.
The announcement comes two days after the Coast Guard offloaded more than $411 million worth of cocaine and marijuana at Port Everglades on Wednesday from interdictions in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.