(Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard crews seize 970 pounds of cocaine, 550 pounds of marijuana worth combined $13.5M

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The haul -- 550 pounds of marijuana -- was brought to South Florida by the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Raymond Evans and offloaded Thursday at the Coast Guard base in Miami Beach.

A Coast Guard spokesperson said the operation involved three smuggling vessels off the coast of Jamaica, Haiti and Colombia.

“This was our first deployment outside of the Florida Straits in 18 months, and I’m extremely proud of my crew for the work they did over the past few weeks to make this patrol successful," said Lt. Patrick Frost, commanding officer of the Raymond Evans, in a statement. "It was exciting to exercise the capabilities of the fast response cutter in the Caribbean counter-drug narcotics mission, and we’re honored to have played a role in the first drug interdiction for Raymond Evans.”

This was a joint operation with the Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard cutter Spencer, which seized 970 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Colombia, officials said.

Officials said the drugs have a wholesale value around $13.5 million.

The operation is part of a Coast Guard mission to disrupt criminal organizations in the Caribbean Sea and secure water along the southern U.S. border, according to a release.

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