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Coast Guard seizes nearly 18 tons of cocaine worth more than $460M

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded 34,780 pounds of cocaine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Tuesday.

Multiple U.S. Coast Guard vessels intercepted the drugs off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America, according to a news release.

There were 21 separate interceptions of suspected drug smuggling vessels.

Six crews seized the drugs, which have an estimated wholesale worth of $466 million.

"The interdiction and disruption of more than 17 tons of cocaine is a result of the collaboration and coordination of multiple Coast Guard and interagency assets to address the complex maritime challenge of Transnational Criminal Organizations," Cmdr. Michael Sharp said in a statement. "I am extremely proud of all the women and men that contributed to the mission success, it is a direct reflection of how the U.S. Coast Guard delivers mission excellence anytime, anywhere."

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U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security routinely work together to combat international crime, including drug trafficking.

Adm. Karl Schultz told The Associated Press crews have seized 1.3 million pounds of cocaine in the last few years.