Coast Guard Cutter Alert returns home after seizing $17 million worth of cocaine

Coast Guard Cutter Alert is deployed to the Eastern Pacific with a HITRON crew Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Alert is homeported in Astoria, Oregon. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J. Groll)

Coast Guard Cutter Alert deployed to the Eastern Pacific with a HITRON crew Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J. Groll)

ASTORIA, Ore. — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert returned home Saturday following a 50-day counterdrug patrol to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The 75-member crew aboard Alert conducted multiple law enforcement boardings in international waters off the coasts of Central and South America. The cutter interdicted a suspected smuggling vessel and seized approximately 1,300 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $17 million wholesale.

Coast Guard cutters operate under the tactical control of Coast Guard District Eleven in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) while conducting counterdrug operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The U.S Coast Guard partners with other nations through bilateral agreements to conduct interdictions in foreign and international waters.

“The Coast Guard Cutter Alert crew once again exceeded all expectations during this diverse patrol,” said Cmdr. Tobias Reid, Alert’s commanding officer. “They represented the Coast Guard in exceptional style during LA Fleet Week 2018, made great strides in preparing for our major annual training evaluation, and successfully stopped suspected drug smugglers from transporting cocaine into our country.”

Commissioned in 1969, Alert is one of 14 remaining 210-foot Reliance-class medium endurance cutters built for the Coast Guard. Alert’s crew routinely operate from the Straits of Juan de Fuca down to the waters off South America.

Alert conducts nine of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions, including search and rescue, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement and homeland security.

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