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Sea turtle rescued after becoming tangled up in 26 bales of cocaine

Click to play video: 'Sea turtle rescued after becoming tangled up in 26 bales of cocaine' Sea turtle rescued after becoming tangled up in 26 bales of cocaine
WATCH ABOVE: According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a turtle was discovered tangled up among $53 million worth of cocaine bales. – Dec 20, 2017

We often hear about the unintended victims of the Americans’ so-called war on drugs – but one sea turtle has a particularly strong grievance.

In video released by the United States Department of Defense Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard vessel USS Thetis, engaged in an anti-drug smuggling operation last month, happened upon a sea turtle tangled up in debris.

Upon closer inspection, coast guard sailors discovered what that debris was: 26 bales of cocaine, worth about $53 million.

READ MORE: Florida man poses as female Coast Guard officer, dupes woman into providing naked pics

The commanding officer of the Theris, Comm. Jose Diaz, says he believes the illicit cargo was dumped by a smuggling vessel that detected their approach.

“[Smugglers] probably felt the heat coming and got rid of it,” Diaz told NBC News.
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Video recorded by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray shows coast guard sailors attempting to free the trapped sea turtle from the centre of the floating cocaine bales.

“There were some marks on her neck, so she may have been there a day or two,” Diaz said.

They were eventually able to free the turtle and seize the drugs, weighing some 800 kilograms.

The USS Thetis is a coast guard cutter currently deployed in Operation Martillo, a multi-state initiative launched in 2012 to combat drug smuggling from central Africa.

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