In yet another drug bust at sea, Coast Guard Cutters (CGC) seized 10 tons of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin along Mexico and Central America. The hoard was offloaded at Port Everglades in Florida. According to the Coast Guard, the traffickers could fetch nearly $300 million for the drugs. However, NarcoticsNews.com evaluations of the net worth are much higher. They said that the value of the seized drugs could be an astronomical $500 million to $1.045 billion for the traffickers.
Trafficking narcotics by sea is not a new practice. Maritime trafficking is more convenient than the terrestrial routes, and more so when drug enforcement agencies have turned extra vigilant at all check posts bordering Mexico. In order to stay on top of the game, Mexican and South American drug cartels turned to ingenious measures, such as Narco submarines and drug-slinging catapults. The Narco submarine is a homemade drug submarine used specifically for the purpose of transporting heroin and cocaine. According to the US Foreign Military Studies Office, 80 percent of the drugs transported into America in 2012 were brought through the maritime route, including 30 percent of narcotics smuggled via submarines.
The recent drug seizure is a rich bounty for CGC. Earlier in May, cocaine worth nearly $500 million was off-loaded from the Pacific’s choppy waters. In the current heist, the Coast Guard Cutter, named “Alert”, intercepted the most massive loot. The 210-foot long vessel based in Astoria, Oregon, carried out six of the 14 interdictions and brought 3,305 kilos of cocaine and 23 kilos of heroin. Close behind was CGC Spencer, which seized nearly 3,000 kilos of cocaine.
Commenting on how this exercise would freeze the flow of funds, John Mctamney, commanding officer of CGC Spencer said, “While this offload represents approximately 10 tons of illicit drugs that will never hit out streets, it also represents a significant depletion to the cash flow to these criminal organizations.” While some of the drugs seized would be used as incriminating evidence against smugglers, the rest would go up in flames.
Heroin and cocaine abuse shows no signs of abating
Possession of cocaine in Florida is a serious offence. If a person possess more than 28 grams of it, the act is considered a first-degree felony. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the Coca plant and is available on the street either in the form of fine powder or crystals. It can be made more lethal on mixing with other drugs or alcohol. The recent boom in coca cultivation in Colombia is responsible for the drug making a comeback in America. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 1.9 million people aged 12 or older were found to be current users of cocaine.
Abuse of heroin and prescription drugs also shows no signs of abating. The survey revealed that about 475,000 people aged 12 or older were current heroin users in 2016. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) estimated that heroin overdose deaths among women had tripled during 2010-13. A survey conducted by the Columbia University Mailman School of public health further revealed that 3.8 million Americans (1.6 percent of the adult population) have used heroin at some point of time.
Getting rid of addiction
An expert in mental health and substance abuse treatment, Sovereign Health of Florida, provides top-notch heroin addiction treatment at its Fort Myers and Pompano Beach facilities. A comprehensive treatment for heroin addiction could involve detoxification followed by therapy and counseling. Recovery from drug abuse and dependence is generally a life-long process; therefore, along with recovery management programs, our facilities provide support and counseling after successful completion of the treatment. For more information on holistic treatment for heroin addicts in Florida or to locate the finest heroin rehab centers in Florida, call our 24/7 helpline. You can even chat online with a representative for further assistance.