SAN DIEGO (AP) - A U.S. Coast Guard cutter has brought approximately 18 tons (16.3 metric tons) of seized cocaine to San Diego.

The drugs brought ashore Thursday from the cutter Waesche (WAY-shee) were seized by the crews of eight Coast Guard cutters in the Eastern Pacific from late March through this month.

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

The Coast Guard says it has been focusing personnel and resources on known drug transit zones in the Pacific during the last two years.

The drugs were seized in international waters, off the coast of Central and South America.