Coast Guard to offload approximately 10 tons of cocaine in Port Everglades

Over 2200 kilograms of seized contraband lie on Coast Guard Cutter Spencer’s flight deck with an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter from Jacksonville, FL. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdiction, to prosecution. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Second Class Timothy Midas.

Over 2200 kilograms of seized contraband lie on Coast Guard Cutter Spencer’s flight deck with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard HITRON Jacksonville, FL. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Second Class Timothy Midas.

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer is scheduled to offload approximately 10 tons of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin this morning in Port Everglades worth an estimated $300 million wholesale seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were interdicted along Mexico and Central America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

The offload represents 14 separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:

  • The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 940 kilograms of cocaine
  • The Coast Guard Cutter James was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 690 kilograms of cocaine
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Alert was responsible for six cases, seizing an estimated 3,305 kilograms of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Aspen was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 102 kilograms of cocaine
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,150 kilograms of cocaine
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,000 kilograms of cocaine
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,060 kilograms of cocaine

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast, and in the Caribbean.

“This offload today is not just the result of one unit, but the combined efforts of multiple Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and support, as well as that of our partners and allied men and women who continue to work day and night to stop these criminal organizations from profiting off transnational crime and smuggling,” said Cdr. John Mctamney, Commanding Officer Coast Guard Cutter Spencer. “While this offload represents approximately 10 tons of illicit drugs that will never hit out streets, it also represents a significant depletion to the cash flow to these criminal organizations.”

The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guardsmen. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific are conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, California.

The cutter Steadfast is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The cutter James is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Alert is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The cutter Aspen is a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in San Francisco, California. The cutter Vigorous is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.

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