Coast Guard Cutter Legare returns to Portsmouth after successful drug-interdiction patrol

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Legare stands on the flight deck of the cutter next to approximately $390 million total wholesale in seized cocaine and marijuana at Port Everglades, Florida, April 24, 2018. The drugs were interdicted off the coasts of Mexico, Central, and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters and Canadian Naval vessels. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Legare stands on the flight deck of the cutter next to approximately $390 million total wholesale in seized cocaine and marijuana at Port Everglades, Florida, April 24, 2018. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Legare returned home to Portsmouth today following a 67-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Earlier this week, the Legare crew stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to offload 24,886 pounds of cocaine and 2,664 pounds of marijuana seized from suspected smugglers.

The contraband is valued at over $390 million wholesale.

The Legare crew seized the drugs from 17 suspected drug smuggling vessels, including a low-profile vessel and three panga-style fishing vessels. The Legare crew engaged in high-speed pursuits with said vessels using their Over the Horizon interceptor boat and an embarked Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactics Squadron aircrew.

Cutter Legare’s crew worked in conjunction with other Coast Guard units, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and international partners during this counter-drug operation.

“What these numbers represent is an increased commitment by U.S. and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability in the Central American region, along the U.S. southern border, and in the southern maritime approaches to the U.S.,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Jonathan Carter, the Legare’s commanding officer. “Legare’s offload earlier this week sends the message that our network of partners and allies remains resolute in our commitment to stem the flow of illicit trafficking that breeds instability.”

Overall coordination of counter-smuggling patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, based in Key West, Florida, and is aimed at disrupting and dismantling illicit threat networks in the region. The law enforcement phase of interdiction operations in the region occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California.

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