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The Coast Guard on Wednesday began unloading about 18,000 pounds of cocaine — with a street value of more than $312 million — at San Diego’s 10th Avenue Marine Terminal. The drugs were seized recently from smuggling vessels in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were taken in several interdictions of low-profile “go-fast” boats and a self-propelled submersible referred to as a “narco submarine” found off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America by five Coast Goard cutters patrolling international waters, officials said. The seizures were made between mid-October and early December.

Coast Guard and Drug Enforcement Agency officials said the work done by the Coast Guard crews is important, not only because it keeps a large quantity of cocaine from reaching the United States, but also because it removes a revenue source from cartels that could be used to fund violent crime, human trafficking and arms trafficking.

The seizures disrupt “dangerous activities of dangerous cartels,” Coast Guard Vice Admiral Linda Fagan told reporters gathered at the terminal Wednesday.

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