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SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Thousands of pounds of cocaine was seized in what is a major dent in the drug-smuggling trade.

The U.S. Coast Guard seized 18 tons of cocaine on the high seas.

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The drugs were intercepted by eight Coast Guard cutters in the Eastern Pacific between March and June.

“Our nation faces significant threats posed by transnational organized crime networks that spread violence and instability throughout the Western Hemisphere,” said Capt. James Passarelli, commanding officer of Waesche. “The crew of Waesche meets those threats head on as far from the U.S. border as possible.”

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Crews offloaded the pallets of cocaine in San Diego.

The Coast Guard says it has increased patrols along known drug transit zones in the Pacific during the last two years.

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