Coast Guard offloads $19M in cocaine in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Crewmembers of the US Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak offloaded 20 bales of cocaine with an estimated value of $19 million in St. Petersburg Thursday morning.

The cocaine was seized on October 27 after a Coast Guard detachment aboard a Royal Dutch Navy ship spotted suspicious packages aboard a 26-foot boat in the Caribbean.

The 20 packages weighed some 1,280 pounds.

Two suspected smugglers were turned over to federal authorities in St. Petersburg.

The seizure is part Operation Martillo, an international operation focused on sharing information to counter illicit trafficking.

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