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The drugs were captured in 25 interdictions in the eastern Pacific by the cutters Stratton, James, Dependable and Steadfast and the destroyer USS Chafee.
The ceremony capped off a record-setting fiscal year for drug seizures at sea. All in all, the USCG has captured cocaine shipments totaling to 455,000 pounds since last October, edging out last year's record amount by roughly six tons.
"These drugs represent the scale of the threat transnational organized crime poses to our nation and to all peaceful nations of the Western Hemisphere," said Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard. "The Coast Guard and Justice Department, along with interagency partners, are determined to commit our efforts to detect, interdict, investigate and prosecute the entirety of these criminal networks and end the drug fueled instability and violence in the region."
Adm. Zukunft told the Washington Post that the interdictions are becoming routine. "We have seen a dramatic increase in cultivation and production," he said. "This is almost exclusively coming out of Colombia."
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