Coast Guard crews offload $3 million of marijuana

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI – Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Fla., offload nearly 3,500 pounds of marijuana, seized during Operation Martillo, worth an estimated wholesale value of $3 million at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, Fla., Friday.

On May 10, a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment onboard a Royal Netherlands Navy vessel, the HNLMS Friesland, assisted in recovering 3,497 pounds of marijuana during a counterdrug patrol in the Caribbean Sea. The suspected smugglers jettisoned 89 bales of marijuana into the water after being pursued by the HNLMS Friesland small boat.

The contraband was later transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin crewmembers who then transferred it to Drug Enforcement Agency agents.

This interdiction was carried out as part of Operation Martillo, which is one component in the United States government’s whole-of-government approach to countering the use of the Central American littorals as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons, and cash. Operation Martillo is an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies to counter this illicit trafficking.

“This seizure is another excellent example of how the U.S. Coast Guard partners with our European allies to combat illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea in order to keep drugs from reaching American and European soil,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “Since Operation Martillo began in January 2012, we have collectively seized more than $5 billion of cocaine and $32 million marijuana. Our success in keeping these drugs off our streets also limits the negative effects they have on regional stability in the Central American isthmus. I commend the crew of the HNLMS Friesland for their contributions to this important operation.”

The Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin is a 378-foot high-endurance cutter, homeported in Charleston, S.C.

High endurance cutters like the Gallatin are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security missions at sea.

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin crewmembers prepare to move 89 bales of contraband to a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat – Medium., during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin move 89 bales of contraband to a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Crew members aboard the Coast Guard cutter Gallatin transfers bales of contraband to a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat – Medium during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. In total, U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Petty Officer 3rd Class Dewaine Harris, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Fla., stacks up several bales of contraband moved from the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Petty Officer 1st Class Carl Jester, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Miami Beach Fla., offloads 89 bales of contraband moved from the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque. 

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Morin, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Miami Beach Fla., offloads 89 bales of contraband moved from the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

U.S. COAST GAURD PHOTO

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Fla., offload 89 bales of contraband moved from the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin during an at sea transfer June 7, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

 

 

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