Crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf interdicted a low-profile go-fast vessel while patrolling international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in November 2019 and seized more than 3,100 pounds of suspected cocaine from the vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard/TNS)

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard on Wednesday began unloading about 18,000 pounds of cocaine — with a street value of more than $312 million — at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal that had been seized recently from smuggling vessels in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were taken in several interdictions of low-profile go-fast boats and a self-propelled submersible known as a "narco submarine" found off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America by five Coast Guard cutters patrolling international waters, officials said. The seizures were made between mid-October and early December.

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James "Russell" Bolton (Facebook photo)

A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for a onetime candidate for Stevens County, Washington sheriff who allegedly tried to extort members of his right-wing militia group through anonymous written threats backed by insinuations they came from a Mexican drug cartel.

James "Russell" Bolton, 51, also is accused of pushing an associate down a flight of stairs and trying to suffocate him with a plastic bag in Spokane, according to records filed last month in Stevens County Superior Court. In that incident, Bolton allegedly claimed his own wife had been kidnapped and was being held for a $100,000 ransom.

Bolton faces at least six charges of extortion and attempted theft. As of Wednesday, he had not been arrested and his whereabouts weren't clear.

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The steady increase in deadly violence that Mexico has experienced over the past three years continued in May when 2,890 people were killed — an average of 93 a day, or almost four victims an hour.

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Photo via Associated Press

A federal judge in Mexico's Jalisco state on Aug. 23 sentenced one-time Guadalajara cartel chief Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo to 37 years in prison for the 1985 killing of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

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Associated Press photo

After six years of civil war, Syria remains the bloodiest battlefield on the planet. But there’s one other conflict zone whose violence in recent years has come to eclipse both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the bloodshed is right on America’s doorstep.

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