Cutter Stone crew interdicts narcotics in Caribbean on first patrol

The crew on the USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) prepare to launch one of the ship's small boats in the Caribbean Sea on Jan. 6, 2021. The Stone sent a boarding team on the boat to intercept a vessel suspected of engaging in illegal activity. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class John Hightower)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stone prepare to launch one of the ship’s small boats in the Caribbean Sea on Jan. 6, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class John Hightower)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — While in transit to conduct joint operations off the coast of Guyana as part of Operation Southern Cross, the Coast Guard Cutter Stone (WMSL 758) encountered and interdicted a suspected narcotic trafficking vessel south of the Dominican Republic Thursday.

Having stopped the illicit activity, Stone handed off the case to the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans (WPC 1110), a fast response cutter from Key West, Florida, and continued their patrol south.

Early Thursday, acting on information from a maritime patrol aircraft, the Stone crew approached the vessel of interest and exercised U.S. Coast Guard authorities to stop their transit and interdict illicit maritime trade.

The Raymond Evans arrived on the scene shortly after. A Coast Guard boarding team from the Raymond Evans conducted a law enforcement boarding, testing packages found aboard the vessel, revealing bales of cocaine estimated at 2,148.5 lbs (970 kgs) total.

Stone’s crew remained on scene during the search of the vessel to assist if need. Following the boarding, the Raymond Evans crew took possession of the contraband and detained the four suspected narcotics trafficking vessel members.

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