Wearing protective gloves and masks, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare carried 127 bales of cocaine — with a street value of about $350 million — off the ship and into a waiting trailer Tuesday, reports the Miami Herald. The 80-pound bricks, which were seized in two separate cases in Southwestern Caribbean waters, were handed over to federal agents and will be destroyed. The drugs are worth about $110 million wholesale.
The drug busts were part of Operation Martillo, an international effort launched in January 2012 to keep drugs from landing on American and international soil. Countries including the United States, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica are working together to protect the Southwestern Caribbean Sea and halt drug shipments before the drugs can be distributed. The countries have bilateral agreements that allow them to board ships in order to stop smuggling operations.