The Murphy remained beside the go-fast boat while the the Midgett hurried to the scene, a trip that took five to six hours, according to Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Brickey.
The Coast Guard has law-enforcement authority to conduct a boarding, granted under title 14 US Code § 89, Brickey said in an email. Unlike the Navy, the Coast Guard is exempt from Posse Comitatus.
The Midgett arrived on the scene, and its crew examined the objects thrown overboard, which tested positive for cocaine. Aboard the go-fast boat, the Midgett's boarding team found more than 2,100 pounds of the drug. The cutter's crew also took the three suspected smugglers into custody.
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