by Lauren Gard
What do 20 tons, or 42,845 pounds, of cocaine look like? U.S. Coast Guard officials and gun-toting agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency found out yesterday when the Coast Guard unloaded the record-busting cargo in Alameda, reported MediaNews. The coke, seized last month from a Panamanian freighter, was photographed stashed in 765 plastic bags and boasts a street value of $300 million. (Were the coke distributed among Alameda's approximately 72,000 residents, each would walk away with 9.8 ounces, or about $42,000 worth.)
Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSN2318618520070423) article included a curious detail in its brief sketch of the March 17 bust: "The Coast Guard ship had experienced mechanical difficulties during its mission and was running so low on water that the crew had stopped showering by the time of the March 17 raid, officials said. "'At the end of the day there is nothing like a good drug bust to lift everyone's spirit,'" said the ship's captain, Charlie Diaz. "We were, of course, elated."'
Charles DeMore, director of the San Francisco outpost of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement told Reuters that the crew aboard the Panamanian fighter offered no resistance. "If you try to fight with the U.S. Coast Guard, you come out on the losing end. It would be futile," he said.
No doubt the funky aroma emanating from the Coast Guard crew's helped stop the bad guys in their tracks. Well done!