A Record Year for Drug Seizures

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard’s Commandant, Adm. Thad Allen, announced Wednesday the service had a record year for seizing drugs, keeping more than 350,000 pounds of cocaine — worth an estimated $4.7 billion — from reaching U.S. shores.

During fiscal year 2007, Coast Guard District Seven units were responsible for stopping approximately $400 million worth of cocaine from hitting the streets

Successful interdiction efforts by the Coast Guard and its federal and international law enforcement partners are driving smugglers to adopt extreme tactics, including the use of expensive semi-submersible vessels, liquid cocaine, and indirect and dangerous sea routes. Some of the more dramatic drug interdcitions include:

  • In March, crewmembers from the Tactical Law Enforcement Team located in Opa Locka, Fla., seized 25,186 pounds of cocaine and nine suspected smugglers. Additionally, TACLET law enforcement detachments seized more than 70,000 pounds of contraband for the year.
  • In February and March, the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, HITRON, based at Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Fla., successfully interdicted more than 5,700 pounds of cocaine and aided in the detention of 10 suspected smugglers in two separate Eastern Pacific drug busts. The seized drugs are worth more than $38 million. Air crews at HITRON have a 100 percent success rate in drug boat take downs in which warning shots or disabling fire were used.

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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