ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Coast Guard officials dropped off more than $12 million worth of cocaine seized off the coast of Panama last month at the agency's St. Petersburg sector Sunday morning.
Some of the cocaine was seized by the USS Halyburton in waters northeast of Panama on Feb. 7, officials said. The Coast Guard aircraft spotted a 40-foot "go-fast vessel" near Panama. Members aboard the Halyburton launched a small boat, which followed the vessel as it released several packages into the water.
The go-fast boat fled toward Panamanian waters. Crew members recovered three bales that tested positive for cocaine, officials said.
A second seizure occurred Feb. 14 when another aircraft located a go-fast vessel releasing bales in the water in the same location. Crew members aboard the Halyburton this time recovered 12 bales of cocaine and the Colombian Navy arrested the people aboard the boat, officials said.
The contraband was transferred to the cutter Resolute, assigned to offload the cocaine at the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.