Coast Guard Offloads 490 Kilos Of Cocaine At Port Everglades
If you think cocaine trafficking isn’t a thing anymore in light of the opioid epidemic, well, you’d be wrong. Cocaine, a highly addictive and powerful stimulant, may have fallen out of favor in the last few decades due to ever-increasing heroin use, but remains a very present threat.
Yesterday, Coast Guard crew members from the cutter Valiant offloaded an approximately 490 kilos of cocaine (the eqivalent of 1,080 pounds) at the Port Everglades hub in Fort Lauderdale. The drugs are worth an estimated $15 million.
The cocaine bales were transferred to the Valiant after being intercepted and seized in three separate cases in the Pacific this month. The Valiant is a 210-foot Coast Guard vessel based at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville.
Capt. Mark Vlaum, staff judge advocate for the Coast Guard Seventh District, as reported by the Miami Herald:
“The Coast Guard is committed to combating transnational criminal organizations at sea, and each of these interdictions will lead to federal prosecutions…”
“Our whole of government efforts are targeting the financial lifeline of organized crime to ultimately cause the collapse of these illegal networks.”
No other details of the operation were disclosed.
What Is The Current Scope Of Cocaine Use In The U.S.?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, since 2009, cocaine use has remained stable. In 2014, there were approximately 1.5 million past-month cocaine users 12 years of age order.
The highest rates of cocaine use are found among adults 18-25 years of age, with 1.4% reporting recent (past-month) cocaine use.
Also, in 2014, an estimated 913,000 Americans met the diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence on cocaine (including crack cocaine) during the past year.
Finally, data culled from the 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network report revealed that cocaine use was involved in more than 505,000 visits to the emergency department.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology