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DEA Tip Helps Costa Rica Coast Guard Recover 1.5 Tons Of Pot

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON  - DECEMBER 6: A Seattle resident takes marijuana from a plastic bag shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of  marijuana took effect on December 6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  Voters approved an initiative to decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana making it one of the first states to do so. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 6: A Seattle resident takes marijuana from a plastic bag shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana took effect on December 6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Voters approved an initiative to decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana making it one of the first states to do so. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

Costa Rica's coast guard has recovered 1.5 tons of marijuana that officials say was thrown into the sea by smugglers being chased in the Caribbean after a tip from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The country's Public Security Ministry says the incident happened early Friday and the suspect boat escaped its Costa Rican pursuers.

Security Minister Celso Gamboa said Saturday that the pot appeared to have come from Jamaica and that the smugglers were headed for Panama. He says the DEA alerted Costa Rica to the suspicious vessel.

Costa Rica's government says joint anti-drug efforts with the U.S. have led to the seizure of nearly 20 tons of cocaine and 3 tons of compressed marijuana so far this year. It says 17,216 people have been arrested.

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