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Coast Guard to seize $23 million of cocaine in St. Pete


Published:   |   Updated: October 22, 2013 at 02:58 PM

U.S. Coast Guard crews have offloaded about 1,500 pounds of cocaine in St. Petersburg on Tuesday morning.

Crew members aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous returned to St. Petersburg with the cocaine, which has an estimated wholesale value of $23 million.

According to a Coast Guard news release, crews responded to a call from the Coast Guard Sector San Juan of a suspicious 35-foot vessel south of the Dominican Republic on Oct. 11.

Once the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous arrived, the crew aboard the vessel began throwing packages overboard, according to the release.

The Venturous crew recovered 28 bales, which later tested positive for cocaine.

The cocaine was seized in support of operation Caribbean Guard, a Department of Homeland Security multi-agency law enforcement operation to support ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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