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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Tons of cocaine seized on high seas

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO – A Coast Guard cutter arrived Thursday in San Diego with more than 14 tons of cocaine, part of what authorities described as a surge of seizures near Central and South America.

The cocaine, valued by the Coast Guard at $424 million, was seized by U.S. and Canadian forces in 19 incidents in the eastern Pacific Ocean near Central and South America. It included a 10 1/2-ton bust from a freighter, the largest maritime drug interdiction in that area since 2009.

The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships have seized more than 28 tons of cocaine valued at $848 million in the eastern Pacific region near Central and South America in the last six months, resulting in 101 arrests. U.S. authorities called it the most successful run in the area since 2009.

Suspicious vessels in international waters were tracked by military or law enforcement aircraft or vessels. Coast Guard personnel operating from Coast Guard cutters and Royal Canadian Navy vessels boarded the ships to seize the drugs.

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