Coast Guard foils drug smuggling attempt

Coast Guard Cutter EdistoSAN DIEGO – Approximately a ton of marijuana was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard in international waters off the coast of Mexico after a patrol aircraft and cutter disrupted an apparent smuggling operation, Oct. 15, 2010.

Early Friday morning a Coast Guard C-130 patrol aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Calif., sighted a suspicious vessel, about 40 miles from San Diego. A Coast Guard patrol boat was diverted to intercept the vessel, and Mexican authorities were notified.

“The successful outcome of this interdiction is the direct result of the outstanding teamwork that happens in the Coast Guard every day,” said Lt. Ari Fitzwater, Commanding Officer U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Edisto.

The cutter did not intercept the speedboat, but as it headed toward the craft, the speedboat’s crew was observed throwing bales into the water. The Coast Guard recovered the bales from the water, which later tested positive as marijuana.

The bales of marijuana were offloaded from the Edisto and custody of the bales was transferred to Maritime Task Force San Diego.

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