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DEA, U.S. Coast Guard intercept go-fast boat with 5,000 pounds of cocaine

August 12, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
DEA, U.S. Coast Guard intercept go-fast boat with 5,000 pounds of cocaine PHOTO BY PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS MARK BARNEY

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The DEA had been looking into a Colombian-based drug cartel that shipped cocaine around the world when officials discovered that the cartel was preparing a large shipment in a small boat also known as a “go-fast boat”

Next, a U.S. Navy plane flying above the Pacific Ocean roughly 590 miles off the Mexican coast on July 8th noticed what seemed like a go-fast in the water.

The Navy plane sent news of the sighting to the Coast Guard, which sent out a cutter to stop the dubious boat.

“The cutter approached and launched a helicopter and a patrol boat, which proceeded to intercept the go-fast,” federal court papers indicated. “The helicopter fired warning shots.

When the Coast Guard boarded the go-fast, they found five men and the deck covered with 107 bundles wrapped in plastic and tape, “such that any passenger…would have to climb over the bales to get from one side to the other,” court documents added.

According to Newsweek, samples were field tested and revealed a total of close to 5,000 pounds. The five men on the go-fast have been charged with disrupting maritime drug laws for attempting to smuggle drugs into the U.S.

“From digging tunnels to using go-fasts, cartels will stop at nothing to get their product into America,” James Hunt, the DEA special agent in charge, said in a statement. “This seizure was a profit loss to the traffickers with a sobering effect on drug users in the U.S.”

There’s been a massive increase in coca produced in Columbia, and the number of boats transporting the drugs to the U.S. is rising, the Associated Press said in May. “What we know here is that the business has been good in the last couple of years,” Captain Nathan Moore, skipper of the 418-foot Coast Guard cutter Stratton, said.

Over the past few years, the Coast Guard has expanded its focus on drug transit zones such as the one in the Eastern Pacific where the go-fast was apprehended on July 8th.

“Cartels, gangs, and criminals have converged to form intricate transnational organized networks that fuel the opiate epidemic, spread violence throughout Central and South America, and have a presence in every major city in the U.S.,” the Coast Guard announced in a statement in March. The statement also added that four cutters had confiscated six tons of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific in January and February.

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