pile of cocaine

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel has returned to port with $1 billion worth of drugs after a four-month tour of duty off the coast of South America, Central America and Mexico. The massive payload contained 2 tons of heroin and 32 tons of cocaine. The cocaine and heroin were stacked at the bow of the ship.

The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton was returning home from it maiden mission, as the lead vessel with three other Coast Guard boats. The goal of the mission was to interdict vessels transporting illegal drugs, and it's billion-dollar payload seems to be proof that it was successful in this regard.

Biggest Payload of Drugs Ever

The drugs were unloaded at U.S. Naval Base San Diego, and they represented the biggest load of drugs ever collected on one Coast Guard Mission. During the last year, the Coast Guard has collected approximately 59 tons of illegal narcotics in the Pacific Ocean off Central America and Mexico. This is more drugs than all that was collected in the preceding three years together.

During the tour, 30 different drug-running vessels were interdicted. Among them were dozens of outboard-motor pangas and two submarines. The contraband was seized between April and July of this year.

All the Drugs Were Bound for the United States

According to Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zukunft, all of the intercepted drugs were headed to the United States. The admiral pointed out that approximately 420 metric tons of cocaine are used by people in the United States each year.

Federal officials have yet to indicate which cartel or cartels may have been involved in the intercepted smuggling operations. Furthermore, it is unknown how many individuals may have been arrested or taken into custody on drug charges related to these seizures. If anyone has been arrested, they will be entitled to a trial and legal representation in U.S. federal court.