Coast Guard seizes 35,000 pounds of cocaine in Pacific, officials say

The U.S. Coast Guard seized close to 35,000 pounds of cocaine from suspected drug smuggling vessels in international waters, officials said Tuesday.

The drugs, worth an estimated wholesale value of $466 million, were intercepted off the coasts of Mexico, and Central and South America and off-loaded in Port Everglades, Florida on Tuesday, the Coast Guard said in a news release.

Six different crews seized the drugs from 21 separate vessels stopped in Pacific waters. The haul was the "result of the collaboration and coordination of multiple Coast Guard and interagency assets to address the complex maritime challenge of transnational criminal organizations,” Cmdr. Michael Sharp said.

Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard, said that within the last few years, crews have seized 1.3 million pounds of cocaine and detained 1,200 suspects at sea.

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Most of the drugs originate in Colombia and are destined for the U.S., according to Schultz.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.