ST. PETERSBURG - Coast Guard cutter Venturous returned to its home port in St. Petersburg on Tuesday morning with a contraband drug haul worth at least $23 million on the street.
The 28 bales of cocaine weighing 1,500 pounds were seized from drug smugglers just south of the Dominican Republic during the crew's 40-day migrant and drug enforcement mission.
Ensign Ryan Webster says the smugglers were able to evade capture, but not before disposing of their stash to drop weight from their speedboat.
"They started jettisoning these bales because they knew that we were there, so they tried to get rid of the evidence as quick as possible," he said.
The crew will be home for approximately another month and a half before leaving on another migrant and drug enforcement mission at sea.
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