Coast Guard offloads a record $1.4 billion in drugs

Crew members from the HMCS Shawinigan, of Canada, stand before a joint news conference with the US Coast Guard, Thursday at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

(CNN)The Coast Guard on Thursday offloaded the largest amount of illegal narcotics in its history.

The Cutter James crew in Port Everglades, Florida, had seized 59,700 pounds of cocaine and 1,430 pounds of marijuana, worth more than $1.4 billion, according to a news release.
Vice Admiral Steven Poulin, the commander of the Atlantic Area, in the release praised the "combined efforts of our inter-agency partners and a dedicated international coalition."
      Capt. Todd Vance, a commanding officer of the Cutter James, said drugs seized in the last three months at sea are double last fall's, affiliate WFOR reported.
        "Every bail of cocaine on this flight deck that doesn't make it to our shores represents lives saved in New York City, Philly, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any small town that's dealing with pandemic levels of drug overdoses this year," Vance said.
            The Coast Guard intercepted the drugs in the Pacific off Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Ten American, Canadian and Dutch ships that were involved are suspected of drug smuggling, according to the release.
            Canadian Defense Attaché Major-General Paul Ormsby said in the news release, "We know that no nation can do it alone, and we know that we are stronger together. The kind of cooperation that we see on the pier today is one of the thousands of impressive examples of cooperation every day."