Coast Guard Interdicts 22 Ecuadorian nationals in possession of illegal firearms

The 22 Ecuadorian nationals are being held at the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753) before turning them over to the Ecuadorian Coast Guard near the Port of Manta. This case highlights the value and benefits of the close partnerships the U.S. Coast Guard has with our allies in Central and South America. These partnerships and the ability of the Coast Guard to work with our counterpart foreign agencies are critical to combatting common challenges such as illegal narcotics trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal and unreported fishing. The success of this case is a result of years of robust collaboration between the State Department, DHS, Ecuador, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

22 Ecuadorian nationals being held on the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753) before turning them over to the Ecuadorian Coast Guard near the Port of Manta. 

ECUADOR – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753) interdicted 22 Ecuadorian nationals the week in possession of illegal firearms in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and delivered them to Ecuadorian authorities.

A Cutter Hamilton law enforcement team boarded the Ecuadorian long-line fishing vessel, Erika Fernanda, in a known smuggling area during a patrol.

Multiple violations and two illegal automatic weapons were located onboard. The crew of the Erika Fernanda and evidence collected was transferred to the Ecuadorian Coast Guard near the Port of Manta.

“This case highlights the value and benefits of the close partnerships the U.S. Coast Guard has with our allies in Central and South America.” said Captain Mark Gordon, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton. “The ability to work with our counterpart foreign agencies is critical to combatting common challenges such as illegal narcotics trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal and unreported fishing. The success of this case is a result of years of robust collaboration between the State Department, DHS, Ecuador, and the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Hamilton is currently deployed on a counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Cutter is one of two 418-foot National Security Cutters homeported in Charleston, SC.


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