Coast Guard and Navy team stop $15 million cocaine shipment

Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group NewsARLINGTON, Va. – A San Diego based U. S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and the USS Carr (FFG-56) interdicted a suspected smuggling vessel, and recovered more than 1,719 pounds of cocaine, worth about $15.6 million, while operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Oct. 25, supporting Operation Martillo

“With nearly two tons of cocaine seized during this patrol, the Coast Guard LEDET and USS Carr team continue to successfully stop illegal narcotics from being smuggled to our shores,” said Lt. Max Seda, Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team’s operations officer.

Since the beginning of their deployment in June, the crew of the Carr and the embarked LEDET have seized approximately 3,906 pound of cocaine and 4,134 pounds of marijuana, for a combined wholesale value of more than $39 million.

During this latest bust, Carr’s embarked SH-60B helicopter was conducting a routine patrol when they identified a fast moving speed boat 32 miles off the coast of Colombia. After closing in to investigate, the contact immediately altered course, attempted to escape and began jettisoning its cargo. The smuggling vessel came to a stop and law enforcement personnel recovered the narcotics.

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. U.S. maritime law enforcement and interdiction operations in the Pacific Ocean are under the tactical control of the Eleventh Coast Guard District in Alameda, Calif.

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.

Carr is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and is currently deployed in support of Operation Martillo, under operational control to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and C4F (COMUSNAVSO/C4F).

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