Cutter Dallas seizes shipment of cocaine in Eastern Pacific Ocean

EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN- The Coast Guard Cutter Dallas seized a shipment of cocaine hidden aboard a Mexican-flagged fishing vessel while enforcing laws and treaties on the high seas in the Eastern Pacific last week.

The Dallas seized the cocaine, weighing an estimated 5,250 pounds, which was concealed aboard an 82-foot fishing vessel in international waters south of Panama. The contraband was concealed in a hidden compartment that was built into the fishing vessel’s fuel tanks. The advanced method of concealment required a detailed search of the vessel that lasted three days and included shifting the vessel’s fuel load to identify the hidden compartment.

The boarding of the Mexican-flagged fishing vessel was conducted under the authority and jurisdiction of Mexico. The Mexican Navy subsequently dispatched a vessel to take custody of the vessel, contraband and crew, all of whom are Mexican nationals.

“This seizure is an example of the cooperation and collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico, as both nations work together to combat illicit drug trafficking,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rick Foster, spokesman for the Eleventh Coast Guard District in Alameda, Calif.

The Dallas, homeported in Charleston, S.C., has a crew of 167 who carry out homeland security, search and rescue, and law enforcement missions from New England to Central and South America.

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