Coast Guard unloads $1 billion worth of drugs at Florida port | USA TODAY

The massive drug seizure highlights a recent surge in narcotics coming from Colombia, a top producer of cocaine.

RELATED: Coast Guard boards suspected drug-smuggling sub

The haul of illegal narcotics brought home by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter James to a port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was one of the biggest in recent memory, a reflection of increasingly sophisticated U.S. arsenal that includes powerful drones and special infrared cameras that can detect heat from small cocaine-laden vessels.

But it also highlights a recent surge in narcotics coming from Colombia, a close U.S. ally and the world’s top producer of cocaine.

The Biden administration’s top anti-narcotics officials traveled to South Florida to welcome back the vessel’s crew and tout the Coast Guard’s role interdicting drugs before they reach American streets.

“We are hitting the drug traffickers where it hits them most: their pocketbooks,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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