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The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Resolute spent 71 days in the Caribbean sea as part of Operation Riptide.
The upshot was delivered Tuesday when 81 crew members aboard the 210-foot Reliance-class cutter offloaded more than a ton of marijuana in St. Petersburg after confiscating it in international waters in the Caribbean.
Along with a Customs and Border Protection aircraft crew, Resolute crew members interdicted two suspected drug smuggling vessels carrying a combined total of 2,600 pounds of pot on March 17. Seven suspected drug smugglers were detained in Operation Riptide.
According to the Coast Guard, the marijuana is worth an estimated $2.2 million wholesale.
But with pot going for $9.27 a gram in Miami, according to a 2018 Cannabis Price Index study compiled by Seedo, a Tel Aviv company that produces devices for home growers, the street value of that ton of marijuana would be nearly $11 million.
“By working hand-in-hand with DHS partners and the nation of Jamaica, we were able to efficiently interdict the 2,600 pounds of marijuana seen on the pier today,” Carmen DeGeorge, the Resolute’s commanding officer, said in a Coast Guard news release. “Today’s off-load represents the ongoing commitment of U.S. and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability across the Caribbean region.”
The Resolute crew, based in St. Petersburg, returned from its 71-day deployment on April 28. In addition to the drug bust, the crew repatriated 50 Haitian migrants during its Operation Riptide mission, the Coast Guard said.