Coast Guard law enforcement team and U.S Navy frigate seize cocaine shipment

7th Coast Guard District NewsPACIFIC OCEAN – A U. S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, deployed aboard a U.S. Navy frigate, apprehended three suspected smugglers and seized more than 900 pounds of cocaine from a vessel in international waters approximately 55 nautical miles off the coast of Colombia, Feb. 4.

The vessel was initially spotted by a U.S. Navy marine patrol aircraft after which, two Navy helicopters were launched to intercept the vessel. The suspects attempted to evade intercept, jettisoned several bales and altered their course.

A Navy helicopter and an interceptor boat chased the suspects’ vessel until it came to a full stop and the Coast Guard LEDET was able to conduct a boarding. The LEDET searched the vessel, resulting in the discovery of a compartment underneath a false deck where the cocaine was hidden.

LEDETs belong to Tactical Law Enforcement Team South or Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team and 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 ships 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.

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