The United States Coast Guard says the crew of the Cutter Pelican has offloaded about one ton of cocaine, worth an estimated US$23 million in St Petersburg, Florida that was seized in the Caribbean Sea.

The Coast Guard said the offloading took place on Monday and three suspected smugglers were also arrested.

The Coast Guard reports that while patrolling during Operation Caribbe, on November 11, the crew seized more than 834 kilograms of cocaine from a suspect vessel that was located south of Jaragua in the Dominican Republic.

While working under the direction of US Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S), the US Coast Guard said law enforcement members boarded the go-fast boat and discovered 30 bales of cocaine and apprehended three suspected smugglers.

The Coast Guard said the contraband and detainees were transferred to RFA Mounts Bay, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Bay-class auxiliary landing ship dock.

The RFA Mounts Bay crew transferred the detainees and contraband to the crew of the Pelican and offloaded at Coast Guard Sector St Petersburg.

Captain Aldante Vinciguerra, chief of response, Coast Guard’s 7th District said “This offload represents approximately one ton of illicit drugs that will never hit our streets.”

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