Coast Guard to Announce Record Drug Seizures

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen will announce the service’s record drug seizure year Thursday at noon at the Coast Guard Headquarters, 2100 Second St., SW, Washington, D.C.

The Coast Guard will be joined by its federal and international partners to discuss successful interdiction efforts and how those efforts are driving smugglers to adopt extreme tactics, including the use of expensive semi-submersibles, liquid cocaine, and indirect and dangerous sea routes. Some of the dramatic interdictions include:

  • The Coast Guard and its partners interdicted more than 9,000 pounds of cocaine and 250 gallons of liquid cocaine in September 2007. Each gallon of liquid cocaine can be made into approximately 4.4 pounds of pure cocaine.
  • In August, Coast Guard, Navy and Customs and Border Protection crews interdicted and boarded a self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel loaded with an estimated $352 million of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard made its largest maritime cocaine seizure when it intercepted the Panamanian vessel Gatun carrying more than 33,500 pounds of the narcotic — or approximately 20 tons — in March 2007.

In addition to the Commandant, speakers for Thursday’s event will include John Walters, director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Mike Braun, chief of operations, Drug Enforcement Agency. Edward Frothingham III, principal director, deputy assistant secretary of defense for counter-narcotics as well as representatives from France, Ecuador and Mexico will also attend the event.

The Coast Guard is the nation’s leading maritime law enforcement agency and is charged with securing America’s more than 95,000 miles of coastline.

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