Coast Guard LEDET & Navy’s USS Elrod seize 1,000 pounds of cocaine

WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA – A U. S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), deployed aboard a U.S. Navy frigate, interdicted a suspected smuggling vessel, recovered more than 1,000 pounds of cocaine, worth about $13 million, and detained four suspected smugglers in international waters, June 10.

“Teamwork is critical to a LEDET’s operational successes,” said Cmdr. Robert Landolfi, Tactical Law Enforcement Team South’s commanding officer. “The Coast Guard and Navy partnership ensures a highly capable presence in the operational theater for sustained periods.”

A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft spotted the go-fast and the USS ELROD with its embarked LEDET moved to intercept. ELROD launched its helicopter, with a LEDET aerial precision marksman aboard, and its small boat with a Coast Guard boarding team to track and intercept the go-fast.

Overall coordination of counter-drug patrols and surveillance in the Caribbean Sea is managed by Joint Interagency Task Force, South headquartered in Key West, Fla., in U.S. maritime law enforcement and interdiction operations in the Caribbean are under the tactical control of the Seventh Coast Guard District.

LEDETs are an armed deployable specialized force under the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group. They were created to support narcotics interdiction operations aboard U.S. Navy and allied warships and are capable of supporting Department of Defense national defense operations. LEDETs provide specialized law enforcement capability and maritime security capabilities to enforce U.S. laws across a full spectrum of maritime response situations, maritime security augmentation and maritime interdiction anti-piracy operations.

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