Coast Guard Cutter Resolute crewmembers stand next to approximately 1 ton of marijuana worth an estimated $2.2 million wholesale value. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley J. Johnson)
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Now, that’s a ton of weed – literally. A St. Pete-based Coast Guard crew spent their morning unloading a large load of marijuana intercepted at sea earlier this year.
According to the Coast Guard, the cutter Resolute stopped two drug-smuggling vessels in the Caribbean Sea back on March 17. Crews seized the 2,600 pounds of marijuana on board and detained seven suspects.
The Resolute returned from its 71-day deployment 10 days ago. Crewmembers unloaded the marijuana – some of which was disguised in bags labeled “pure Jamaican cane sugar” – this morning.
"By working hand-in-hand with DHS partners and the nation of Jamaica, we were able to efficiently interdict the 2,600 pounds of marijuana seen on the pier today," Cmdr. Carmen DeGeorge, the Resolute's commanding officer, said in a press release. "Today's offload represents the ongoing commitment of U.S. and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability across the Caribbean region."
The Coast Guard says the marijuana was worth an estimated $2.2-million wholesale.
The coast guard has been on a roll. In early February, they unloaded $47 million worth of cocaine, seized off the coast of Puerto Rico.
“This is all part of an ongoing effort from the U.S. and international partners to stop traffic on the high seas... and to promote stability across the region and also the Eastern Pacific,” explained. Lt. Tara Pray with the U.S. Coast Guard.
They work with local law enforcement to destroy the contraband.