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Federal drug trafficking at sea

The U.S. Coast Guard was recently involved in an incident that escalated into a high speed chase at sea. The alleged federal drug trafficking situation necessitated helicopter assistance as the crew attempted to stop a speed boat. Officials say the boat displayed no identifying insignia as to its national origin. The suspects are now in Florida.

The arrest report states that when the U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat got close to the unidentified boat it was pursuing, the boat in question took off at a high rate of speed. A chase ensued, resulting in the allegedly fleeing boat coming to a stop a short time later. The patrol boat's crew then boarded the other vessel.

A special agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration said the crew immediately noticed packages lying in plain sight on the boat's deck. The agent also said the packages appeared to be contraband. A report was issued from the crew of the helicopter stating that at least 19 other packages were seen floating in the water near the boat that had stopped.

The incident supposedly led to 25 packages of cocaine weighing more than 3,000 pounds being seized. Three men who are said to have come from Colombia were arrested in the suspected federal drug trafficking incident. They will now face federal charges in Florida for conspiring to possess and sell cocaine aboard a water vessel that was sailing in an area under United States jurisdiction. One of the first things a defendant in this type of serious situation may want to do is seek immediate guidance from a criminal lawyer who has handled other high profile cases.

Source: Miami Herald, "Coast Guard crew makes huge cocaine bust", David Goodhue, Sept. 28, 2016

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