A U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than 30metric tons of cocaine and marijuana on Thursday reportedly worth over $1 billion! The haul of illegal narcotics brought home by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter James was one of the biggest in recent memory, a reflection of increasingly sophisticated U.S. arsenal that includes powerful drones and special infrared cameras that can detect heat from small cocaine-laden vessels. But it also highlights a recent surge in narcotics coming from Colombia, a close U.S. ally and the world’s top producer of cocaine.
The Biden administration’s top anti-narcotics officials traveled to South Florida to welcome back the vessel’s crew and tout the Coast Guard’s role interdicting drugs before they reach American streets. “We are hitting the drug traffickers where it hits them most: their pocketbooks,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. Gupta said the Biden administration is seeking to increase the U.S. government’s budget to build up the nation’s addiction treatment infrastructure and reduce the supply of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.