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Suspected drug smugglers sail to jail

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Sun September 8, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Coast Guard crew notices the 49-foot vessel Elegance was "riding suspiciously low in the water"
  • More than 1,200 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $20 million is found on board, officials say
  • Coast Guard has seized 44,000 pounds of cocaine in the previous 12 months

(CNN) -- Two people who thought they were sailing toward a big payday ended up in jail and are suspected of drug smuggling, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Crew members on the Coast Guard cutter Dependable noticed the 49-foot sailing vessel Elegance was "riding suspiciously low in the water" in the Atlantic about 500 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Monday, a Coast Guard news release said.

Coast Guard officers, who boarded the Canadian-registered boat after consulting with Canadian authorities, found more than 1,200 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated wholesale value of $20 million, the release said.

The two people on the boat were arrested after the contraband tested positive for cocaine, it said. The suspects' names and nationalities were not immediately made public.

The Dependable, with the Elegance in tow, suspected smugglers in custody and the cocaine on board, arrived in Boston Friday.

While the haul was big, it's just a small part of the Coast Guard's annual cocaine seizures at sea. The Coast Guard has seized 44,000 pounds of cocaine in the previous 12 months, the release said.

CNN's Rick Martin contributed to this report.

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