Cutter Campbell returns to Maine after seizing $209 million cocaine

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, homeported in Kittery, Maine, is on patrol Monday, May 15, 2017, during a two-month counter-drug patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.  During the patrol, Campbell’s crew launched its helicopter and small boat, with an embarked pursuit team, to successfully disrupt three narcotics smuggling ventures, seize 2,316 kilograms of cocaine valued at $68 million, and detain three suspected smugglers. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Campbell file photo.

BOSTON — Coast Guard Cutter Campbell returned to its homeport in Kittery, Maine, Friday after an 80-day counter-narcotic patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Campbell’s crew disrupted six narcotic smuggling ventures, seized about 12,000 pounds of cocaine, worth $209 million, and detained 24 suspected smugglers.

Equipped with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron unit based in Jacksonville, Florida, the Campbell patrolled known narcotic transit zones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, which facilitates international and interagency interdiction to enable the disruption and dismantlement of illicit and converging threat networks in support of national and hemispheric security.

Campbell’s crew also rescued three sea turtles found entangled in loose fishing gear.

“During this challenging deployment, the crew excelled in all assigned missions and should be exceptionally proud of their accomplishments,” said Cmdr. Mark McDonnell, commanding officer of the Campbell. “Our efforts to integrate with partner agencies and nations are key to the safe and successful execution of these complex interdiction operations as we work together to remove cocaine bound for the United States and help dismantle criminal networks.”

Campbell is a 29-year-old Famous-Class cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine, with a crew complement of 100.

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