Coast Guard to Offload 9,000 Pounds of Cocaine, 250 Gallons of Liquid Cocaine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coast Guard and Navy crews will be handing more than 9,000 pounds of cocaine and 250 gallons of liquid cocaine to federal agents at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Friday at 10:15 a.m.

The narcotics, which have an import value of approximately $129,278,032, were seized in five separate busts by the Coast Guard and Navy in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Coast Guard law enforcement teams from Tactical Law Enforcement Team South from Miami and Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific from Alameda, Calif., conducted three boardings from the Navy’s USS Rodney M. Davis from Naval Station Everett, Wash., USS McClusky from San Diego and the USS Klakring from Mayport. In two busts, Coast Guard and Navy crews fished bales of cocaine from the water after the suspected smugglers apparently scuttled their cargo.

The Miami-based Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 401 and the USS Klakring interdicted 45-foot go-fast Sept. 8. A go-fast is a high-speed vessel used specifically for drug smuggling. The go-fast crew didn’t attempt out run the Klakring and the Coast Guard team. The Coast Guard team located 7,000 pounds of cocaine in 140 bales during their boarding and detained four suspected smugglers. This bust is the largest amount of narcotics seized from a go-fast in fiscal year 2007.

A maritime patrol aircraft spotted a go-fast in the Eastern Pacific Aug. 27. The USS Halyburton from Mayport and a Miami-based Coast Guard law enforcement team pursued the suspected smugglers. The go-fast crew was spotted jettisoning their cargo by the maritime patrol aircraft before they reached Costa Rican shores. The Coast Guard law enforcement team and the Halyburton crew arrived and recovered 27 bales of cocaine that was apparently jettisoned by the suspected smugglers. The bales totaled 1,350 pounds of cocaine.

The crew of the USS De Wert from Mayport and an Alameda-based Coast Guard law enforcement team located a semi-submersible submarine in the Eastern Pacific August 21. The four suspected smugglers piloting the semi-submersible scuttled their vessel when they apparently spotted law enforcement assets. Eleven bales and 60 kilograms of cocaine surfaced near the four men totaling 632 pounds. USS De Wert and Coast Guard crews rescued the four men from the water. The men were detained by the Coast Guard law enforcement team.

The Coast Guard and Navy stopped 10 kilograms, or approximately 22 pounds, of cocaine from reaching U.S. streets July 22. The USS McClusky and a Coast Guard law enforcement team from Alameda stopped a suspected go-fast boat in the Eastern Pacific. A Coast Guard boarding team searched the vessel and located the narcotics. The Coast Guard team detained four Colombian crewmembers.

The first maritime seizure of liquid cocaine occurred April 25 when the USS Rodney M. Davis located the fishing vessel Emperador from Ecuador in the Eastern Pacific. A Coast Guard law enforcement team from Alameda boarded the Emperador and located 3,850 gallons of liquid cocaine. Each gallon of the liquid is the equivalent of 1.3 kilograms of processed cocaine. The Coast Guard boarding team detained the 17 crewmembers of the vessel. Sixteen of the crewmembers were from Ecuador, and one of the crewmembers was Colombian. The Coast Guard boarding team and crew of the USS Davis transported the vessel to Guayaquil, Ecuador, for further examination by officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Ecuadorian authorities. The majority of the liquid cocaine, 3,600 gallons, was turned over to Ecuadorian authorities for destruction. The 16 Ecuadorian crewmembers were transferred to Ecuador for prosecution. The Colombian crewmember is awaiting trial in the United States. A small amount of the liquid cocaine, 250 gallons, will be offloaded to prosecute the suspected Colombian smuggler.

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