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Coast Guard Cutter Munro Delivers 34,000 Pounds of Cocaine to San Diego

Munro
Courtesy USCG

Published May 28, 2024 6:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro has delivered a massive 34,000-pound haul of cocaine to the pier in San Diego, the service announced Tuesday. 

"The crew put in an incredible amount of work over very long hours, and I couldn’t be prouder of them," said Capt. Rula Deisher, the commanding officer of USCGC Munro. "Their dedication and grit goes to show that Munro is one of the best national security cutters in the fleet, and we are committed to keeping the country safe by stopping illegal drugs before they hit the street."

Unlike most of the Coast Guard's consolidated deliveries of interdicted contraband, which typically bundle together the results of multiple cutters, Munro's crew captured all of the cargo through their own efforts. In eight separate busts over a four-week period in February and March, Munro captured about 15,300 kilos of the ultra-valuable substance.

The Coast Guard put the shipment's U.S. wholesale value at $470 million. If delivered to Central America and transshipped to Europe, the top geographic market of choice for today's cartels, this cargo would be worth roughly $550 million on the EU wholesale market ($1.1 billion at EU retail markup).

Munro is a National Security Cutter, the Coast Guard's largest and longest-range class of patrol vessel. She has served around the Pacific basin, from South America to Alaska to the Pacific Islands and Japan. In 2019, she set a new drug-busting record with a haul of 39,000 pounds of cocaine from 14 interdictions. 

“I am extremely proud of this crew and their dedication to disrupting organized crime in the Eastern Pacific,” said Rear Admiral Andrew Sugimoto, commander, Coast Guard District 11. “The effort put in while interdicting more than 33,000 lbs of cocaine in a few weeks’ time is unparalleled. We will continue our commitment to stopping these criminals and the vast amounts of drugs they attempt to bring into our country.” 

American drug interdiction efforts involve every federal law enforcement and defense agency, including the Coast Guard, Homeland Security, the Pentagon, the FBI and the Justice Department, among many others. Allied partners in regional and overseas governments also play a critical role. The U.S. Navy and allied navies often provide vessel platforms for interdiction missions, hosting embarked U.S. Coast Guard boarding teams. The USCG carries sole responsibility for boardings and arrests, using its law-enforcement authority to search stateless vessels and detain suspects.