Cocaine seizures skyrocket off Latin America's Pacific coast

Aug 10, 2015 6:02 PM by News Staff

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard has seized more cocaine off Latin America's Pacific coast over 10 months than in the past three years combined.

Adm. Paul Zukunft said 119,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $1.8 billion has been seized over the past 10 months. He spoke Monday in San Diego where some of the drug bundles were taken off a Coast Guard vessel.

Zukunft says his military branch now has a greater presence on the high seas after having to pull back its boats two years ago to meet automatic federal budget reductions. He says the restoration resulted in the increase in seizures.

The Coast Guard is the only U.S. military branch able to make drug arrests hundreds of miles offshore.

Traffickers increasingly are turning to the seas to get their U.S.-bound loads around tightened security on land.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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