ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute returned to their homeport in St. Petersburg, Friday, following a 51-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea conducting counter illicit trafficking operations.
During their multi-agency mission, the crew of the Resolute targeted drug smuggling into the U.S. from Central and South America, in connection with Operation Martillo, which is part of the U.S. government’s strategy to deter Central American shipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons and cash.
While conducting a routine patrol on May 27, the crew of the Resolute in conjunction with a Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron’s MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, located a suspected smuggling vessel several hundred miles northeast of Costa Rica. The crew of the suspected smuggling vessel immediately jettisoned their cargo, which was recovered by the Resolute’s boarding team. Sixty-two bales of marijuana and four suspected smugglers were apprehended and later transferred to federal agents. The interdiction removed an estimated $10 million worth of illegal drugs from the supply chain.
Likewise, the crew of the Resolute, in a joint effort with Costa Rica’s coast guard and HITRON’s Dolphin helicopter crew made another interdiction. Upon detection by U.S. authorities, a vessel abandoned its cargo but was stopped in the process approximately 40 miles from Costa Rica. Four suspected smugglers and 4,000 pounds of marijuana were interdicted by Costa Rican authorities.
“The success of this deployment can be attributed to our crew’s initiative, advanced training and relentless desire to stop the trans-shipment of contraband in the transit zone and southern approaches,” said Cdr. Matthew T. Brown, commanding officer of Resolute.
The Resolute is a 210-foot Medium Endurance cutter that operates in the offshore maritime environment under the command of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia. Other missions include maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, defense readiness, and ports, waterways, and coastal security.