MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

The U.S. Coast Guard has offloaded $37 million worth of cocaine seized in a multi-national operation in the Caribbean.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday that the 2,500 pounds of cocaine was seized on Jan. 22 south of the Dominican Republic when a 25-foot go-fast boat was spotted with suspicious packages.

The U.S. Coast Guard launched its helicopter from the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight to intercept the suspected drug smugglers seen throwing packages overboard during the pursuit. Four suspected smugglers were detained and will be transferred to law enforcement authorities in the U.S.

Authorities did not immediately release their identities or nationalities.

Lt. Commander Gabe Somma called it a unique operation since "this was the first time an armed Coast Guard helicopter has launched from a UK military ship."