CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Coast Guard cutter based in Charleston recently seized 19,000 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean, according to Joint Base Charleston officials.
The drugs, intercepted off the coasts of Mexico as well as Central and South America, were worth more than an estimated $500 million.
Multiple cutters recently offloaded drugs from 15 separate suspected drug smuggling boat interceptions on Nov. 15, totaling roughly 37,000 pounds of cocaine. but Cutter James was responsible for the most drugs seized with nine cases weighing in at 19,288 pounds.
The cutter James measures 418 feet long and is a legend-class cutter.
When Coast Guard boats intercept boats in international waters, the boat is tracked by military and law enforcement personnel before its boarded by U.S. Coast Guardsmen.