Coast Guard busts cocaine shipment

MIAMI, April 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard announced a major drug bust after the boarding of a Venezuelan-flagged fishing vessel revealed an illicit drug-trafficking operation.

The Coast Guard unit operating in the 7th Coast Guard District and the Joint Interagency Task Force South boarded the Venezuelan-flagged fishing vessel, where 2,470 pounds of cocaine were uncovered.


According to a report released Thursday, the Coast Guard, operating the 270-foot medium-endurance cutter Bear, boarded the fishing vessel more than 500 miles east of Brazil. Five suspected drug smugglers were arrested in the operation, the Coast Guard reported.

The five suspects and the cocaine will be transferred to Venezuelan authorities for further investigation.

"The Coast Guard has agreements in place with numerous Caribbean and South American countries to help stem the flow of narcotics into the United States," Rear Adm. Steve Branham, 7th Coast Guard District commander, said in a statement.

"These agreements allow the Coast Guard and our interagency partners to position our resources in areas where they have the best opportunity for success."

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