This is the shocking moment drug smugglers were caught desperately dumping bags of cocaine into the ocean during a high speed chase with the US Coast Guard who say they seized a total haul worth more than $350million in a weeks-long operation.
Surveillance footage shows the pursuit of a boat as its crew members heave cargo overboard.
A US Coast Guard ship brought the cocaine seized from Pacific Ocean smugglers to San Diego on Friday.
The dramatic video, released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shows people throwing the drugs into the water as they are filmed from above.
As the Coast Guard, seen in an orange boat, reach the suspects’ motorboat they draw their guns drawn before the nine smugglers surrender with their hands in the air.
The crew still managed to seize around 2,300 pounds of cocaine – worth around $30 million – from the vessel.
A total of more than 26,000 pounds of the drug was taken off a U.S. Coast Guard ship on Friday after the weeks-long operation in six separate missions.
Footage shows the pursuit of a boat as its crew members heave cargo overboard
The dramatic video, released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shows the Coast Guard, seen in an orange boat, reach the suspects’ motorboat before the nine smugglers surrender
The Coast Guard says the estimated $350 million worth of cocaine was seized from vessels and recovered floating in the ocean from late June to mid-July off Mexico and Central and South America.
‘This was 26,000 pounds of cocaine that will not make it to the main streets of the U.S.A, and it also gives us the opportunity to make sure that we can continue to combat transnational criminal organizations that transport this cocaine deep in the Pacific every single day,’ said Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander.
‘Because we know that with a supply chain of illegal narcotics, at every single step there’s violence, instability and despair.’
A member of Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast uses a forklift to move a pallet of cocaine in San Diego after more than 26,000 pounds of cocaine worth $350million was offloaded there
Crew members uncover a compartment concealing multiple bales of cocaine beneath the floorboard of a vessel while patrolling international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean
The Coast Guard has seized more than 230,000 pounds of cocaine and detained more than 400 suspected smugglers in drug transit zones in the eastern Pacific Ocean this year.
It was the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast who offloaded the 26,000 pounds of seized cocaine in San Diego Friday.
Cmdr. Dan Ursino, the Steadfast’s commanding officer said: ‘There are few closer relationships than those among the members of a ship’s crew performing a dangerous, important mission.
‘Steadfast’s crew has worked as a remarkable, dedicated team with a strong common goal – protecting their nation from the deadly, destructive effects of illegal drugs. I’m very proud of each and every one of them, and commend them for their hard work and dedication to keep themselves and their ship prepared for this vital work.
‘Something that makes their achievement even more impressive, is that before leaving homeport on June 13th, nearly a third of this crew had never sailed before on Steadfast – a true testament to the emphasis we put on standards and training.’