Coast Guard Cutter Confidence offloads $2 million worth of marijuana at Port Canaveral

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsPORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence offloaded 2,245 pounds of marijuana, with a wholesale value of approximately $2 million, at Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, Sunday.

The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Confidence and Dauntless intercepted a 30-foot vessel suspected of smuggling narcotics Aug. 17, south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

While on patrol, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, spotted a go-fast vessel south of Guantanamo Bay. The cutters were diverted and launched their small boat crews.

As the Confidence’s boatcrew pursued the go-fast vessel, the suspected smugglers were witnessed jettisoning bales of possible contraband into the water. The Dauntless’ boatcrew marked the position and recovered a total of 55 bales from the water, which later tested positive for marijuana.

Confidence crewmembers were able to stop the go-fast vessel, detain four suspected smugglers and locate several more packages aboard the vessel, which tested positive for marijuana.

Later in the patrol, the Confidence’s crew successfully interdicted a Haitian sailing vessel with 131 migrants aboard and assisted the Royal Bahamian Defense Force by transferring an additional 88 migrants back to Haiti. With all 219 migrants aboard, they sailed to Cap Haitien, Haiti for their repatriation. The crew also had the opportunity to partner with the Royal Bahamian Police Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration in a joint boarding in Great Inagua, Bahamas. These interactions help strengthen relations between Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners in the Bahamas.

Coast Guard cutter crews consistently train to respond to emergencies, search and rescue, and drug and migrant interdiction cases, all of which often occur without warning.

The Confidence and Dauntless’ drug interdiction is one example of many that exhibits the Coast Guard’s efforts in stopping the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. The Confidence is a 210-foot, medium-endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla. The Dauntless is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Galveston, Texas. Both cutters crew primarily conduct counter-drug and undocumented migrant interdiction patrols in the Caribbean Sea.

Medium endurance cutters like the Confidence and Dauntless are slated for replacement by new Offshore Patrol Cutters. The new OPCs will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners, superior to the cutters they replace. Equipped with modern sensors, the OPCs will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.

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