Coast Guard Law Enforcement Nabs More Than 2 Tons of Cocaine
The U.S Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, and the Colombian Navy join forces to disrupt and seize a major drug shipment consisting of 112 bales of cocaine, weighing approximately 4,910 lbs., during an interdiction off the Pacific Coast of Colombia in support of Operation Martillo, Monday, June 4.
In a coordinated effort, crews from the San Diego-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), the U.S. Navy’s guided missile frigate USS Nicholas and the Colombian Navy disrupted a major shipment of contraband.
The cocaine was pitched into the water approximately 80 miles off the Colombian coast by the fleeing crew of a go-fast boat spotted by a maritime patrol aircraft.
A crewmember aboard the USS Nicholas maneuvers a cargo net full of illegal narcotics seized by a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment deployed aboard the USS Nicholas. U.S. Navy photo.
While trying to evade U.S. law enforcement, the crew of the go-fast boat transited into Colombian territorial waters and was intercepted by the Colombian Navy.
Since the beginning of the USS Nicholas' deployment in January, Coast Guard LEDET's aboard the Navy frigate have seized more than 10,000 lbs. of cocaine.
The 44-year-old Sherman and all Secretary-class, high endurance cutters, are being replaced by eight Legend-class, national security cutters. The NCSs are faster, better equipped, more durable, safer and more efficient than their predecessor, and will allow the Coast Guard to deliver its unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise wherever needed to protect American interests, today and for decades to come.
Operation Martillo (Spanish for hammer) is a component of the U.S. government's coordinated interagency regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Regional Security Initiative.
The Joint Interagency Task Force, South, a component of the U.S. Southern Command, is responsible for the overall coordination of the counter-drug mission in the Eastern Pacific. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the region occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District, based in Alameda, Calif., or by law enforcement agencies of partner nations in the region.
Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and Navy crewmembers transport seized cocaine to the USS Nicholas. U.S. Navy photo.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard