The demand for cocaine seems to be on the rise in the U.S. Lately, the Coast Guard has become more and more used to recovering floating bales of cocaine. They even find some hidden inside tiny boats and homemade submarines. However, this time around the Thetis crew discovered something intriguing during their 2 month-long mission. They were near the eastern Pacific when they discovered a sea turtle trapped amidst bales of cocaine.
Commander Jose Diaz said that the debris area was spotted by a military aircraft. Then the Thetis team went to inspect the area.
Initially, they saw that there were about 26 bales of contraband tied together. Diaz suspects that these bundles were quickly discarded from a fast-moving vessel.
Diaz further believes that the smugglers were afraid that the cops were catching up to them. That is probably why they discarded it in a hurry.
Soon they discovered a sea turtle amidst all the contraband. It had lines tangled around its fins and neck. The sea turtle was probably stuck in the debris for a couple of days. The marks all over her neck were pretty distinct too, adds Diaz.
The turtle was rescued by the guardsmen from the entangled mess. According to the authorities, over 800 kilograms of cocaine has been seized.
During their 68-day Eastern Pacific counter drug patrol, the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Southeast Cutter Thetis rescued a large sea turtle entangled in $53 million worth of cocaine.By the end of their patrol, the crew had seized a total of 14,861 pounds (6,755 kilograms) of cocaine, 14 pounds of marijuana and apprehended 24 suspected smugglers. Read here to learn more about this patrol: goo.gl/1AhL7z
Gepostet von U.S. Coast Guard am Dienstag, 19. Dezember 2017
The cutter Thetis was involved in Operation Martillo. The operation was launched in the year 2012 as an international effort to target and patrol the notorious trafficking routes. Specifically the ones near the coast of Central America. The whole operation, in their latest patrol, seized about 7 tons of contraband. That is, approximately, $135 million worth of cocaine.
Opioids have always been one of the major drug threats when it came to America. However, both cocaine use and availability have been on the rise for a while now. The Drug Enforcement Administration has revealed that, in some cases, the use of cocaine has rebounded to levels unseen and unheard of in the last ten years.
Between 2009 and 2013 there was a significant drop in the amount of cocaine use in the United States. In 2014 there was a sudden spike in the number of people who had used cocaine. Between 2014 to 2015, the number increased from 1.5 million to 1.9 million. The maximum amount of cocaine in the United States comes from Columbia.
CDC revealed that the total number of drug deaths due to cocaine was constantly increasing. In 2015 it was 6,784. Although some of the cases involved other drugs and opioids as well.
Of course, usage doesn’t always imply addiction. According to Phoenix House, there has been no significant rise in the number of clients with cocaine addiction. The Phoenix House helps 18,000 drug abusers across 10 states each year in the States.
DEA believes that the reason behind no significant increase in cocaine addicts is probably because addiction takes time. According to the DEA, cocaine’s popularity is on the rise.
“The United States can expect to see increased levels of cocaine supply and use, at least through 2018,” the agency’s report said. “As coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia increase, the United States will very likely see continued increases in cocaine-related deaths, new initiates, seizures, and positive workplace drug tests.”
While this sea turtle trapped amidst bales of cocaine got rescued, most others are not so lucky. It is always the plastic pollutants that end up harming such sea animals.
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Featured image: U.S. Coast Guard