Cocaine Making Comeback in Florida: Feds | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Cocaine Making Comeback in Florida: Feds

Customs and Border Protection officials in Florida said they confiscated 61 percent more cocaine last year over the prior year, amounting to 9,500 pounds of cocaine

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    Production in Colombia is reaching levels even higher than during the 1980's, when the drug and money from it ran South Florida.

    (Published Monday, May 29, 2017)

    Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration say Colombia has been producing more cocaine than at the height of the notorious 1980s. Back then, South Florida was the main conduit for cocaine shipments headed to the United States in an era famous for "cocaine cowboys."

    The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Sunday that 90 percent of the cocaine seized in the United States can be traced back to Colombia, and Colombia has tripled its production in the past few years.

    "There is a mountain of cocaine, much of it is likely headed our way," said Justin Miller, intelligence chief for the DEA's Miami field division. "But we are already seeing these drug combinations, and cocaine deaths are already going up significantly."

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    Video of 'Jake the Diamond Dog' was posted as the golden retriever carried a basket filled with bottled water out to the umpire between innings taken at a recent game.

    The video was posted by Indiana news station WPTA's sports anchor Zach Groth.

    Jake delivers water to umpires on the field in a basket and reportedly makes an appearance at a variety of minor league baseball games and has done so for several years.

    (Published 3 hours ago)

    Customs and Border Protection officials in Florida said they confiscated 61 percent more cocaine last year over the prior year, amounting to 9,500 pounds of cocaine.

    Because there is a lag time between production and distribution, the full impact of the increase has yet to hit South Florida, authorities said.

    Experts trace the boom in production to when the Colombia government stopped aerial spraying of herbicides over cocoa fields used to make cocaine in the fall of 2015 because of health concerns.

    "The aerial spraying worked quite well," said Richard Mangan, a former DEA agent and Florida Atlantic University criminal justice professor. "But there was a lot of pushback after a while to the damage it was doing to legitimate crops, the damage it was doing to people."

    Meanwhile, the state Medical Examiner Commission reports that overdose deaths from cocaine are at their highest level in Florida since 2007. From 2012 to 2015, cocaine deaths in Florida went from 1,318 fatalities to 1,834 fatalities.

    Only the synthetic painkiller fentanyl surpassed cocaine for contributing to Florida overdose deaths in Florida for the first half of last year, according to medical examiner records.

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    (Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017)

    The increase in production in Colombia already is driving down prices in South Florida.

    One kilo, or about 2.2 pounds, of pure cocaine was worth between $28,000 and $35,000 two to three years ago. Today, the same amount is worth $26,000 to $28,000, Miller said.