Officials seized more than 11,000 pounds of narcotics during an international joint operation in March, the largest maritime cocaine seizure in the Eastern Pacific Ocean since 2009.
The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and a Joint Interagency Task Force snagged the tons of cocaine from a coastal freighter in early March. The drugs were thrown off a small coastal freighter but recovered in international waters off the coast of Costa Rica.
"This is dangerous work," said Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District in a statement. "I send my deepest appreciation to the men and women on the front lines who risk their lives to stop these drugs from reaching our streets and the streets of our partner nations.”
The freighter carrying the tons of narcotics was spotting throwing bales of the contraband into the ocean, according to a statement. The USS Gary, based out of San Diego approached the ship before calling in back up from over local ships and a Candian navy vessel to search the boat and retrieve the floating bags of cocaine.
When officials pulled all the bales out of the ocean, the cocaine weighed approximately 11,000 pounds.
The drug bust marks the largest in the region since 2009, when a semi-submersible craft in the Eastern Pacific was caught carrying five tons of cocaine by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis.
Officials have seized more than one million pounds of cocaine at sea in the Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean since 2010.