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Miami, Florida. (January 9, 2024): It is an industry that dumps tons of poison onto our streets that results in violence and mayhem in our neighborhoods. Thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard, a sizable chunk of these deadly narcotics will not make it to American shores. In the photo Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Sherbs, a crew member of the Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell offloads $32 million in illegal narcotics after a recent seizure in the Caribbean. Six suspected smugglers were detained aboard the Norvell and they will face American justice.

The Caribbean Sea is a world hot spot for drug trafficking and is one of the most dangerous assignments in the Coast Guard. Drug smugglers are almost always heavily armed and desperate to avoid capture making interdictions at sea especially hazardous. Cocaine is the most profitable illicit drug and it accounts for 85 percent of the drug market in the region. Colombia is the origin of over 95 percent of cocaine imports within the region followed by Venezuela which is the source of an additional 29 percent.

While two thirds of the cocaine is consumed in the United States and Canada, another 165 tons of the stuff passes through the Caribbean on its way to Europe. In addition to coke, over one hundred tons of marijuana is smuggled into the U.S. from Jamaica (80%) and Columbia (15%).

America can be proud of the efforts of these valiant Coast Guard crews as they risk their lives to keep these dangerous drugs off our streets.