Cutter Legare Brings $390M Drug Seizure to Shore

Task force members interdict a fishing vessel, Apr. 15 (Canadian Navy)

By The Maritime Executive 04-24-2018 02:03:00

On Tuesday at Port Everglades, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Legare offloaded  about 25,000 pounds of cocaine and 2,600 pounds of marijuana seized in the Eastern Pacific. Authorities estimate the value of the confiscated narcotics at about $390 million. 

As in past offloads, the aggregate amount of the seizure represented the combined efforts of multiple vessels and agencies. The following American and Canadian assets were involved in bringing in the latest drug consignment:

- The cutter Reliance seized an estimated 1,200 kilograms of marijuana from one boat. 

- The cutter Legare seized 2,051 kilograms of cocaine and 8 kilograms of marijuana from five boats.

- The cutter Harriet Lane seized 907 kilograms of cocaine from one boat.

- The cutter Decisive seized 430 kilograms of cocaine from  two boats. 

- The cutter Steadfast seized 1730 kilograms of cocaine from four boats.

- The cutter Dependable seized 454 kilograms of cocaine from one boat. 

- The Canadian Navy's HMCS Whitehorse seized an estimated 1,540 kilograms of cocaine from two boats. 

- The Canadian Navy's HMCS Edmonton seized 451 kilograms of cocaine from one boat. 

The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, CBP, FBI, DEA, ICE, DOD, DOJ and Homeland Security work together with international partners to stop smugglers in the Eastern Pacific, with a significant measure of success. The team interdicts about one fifth of the known maritime drug shipments bound for the United States, with intercepts limited only by the availability of vessels and funding. Last year, the maritime task force took in more than three times the amount of cocaine seized on America's borders and streets, and USCG Adm. Paul Zukunft has suggested that the total would be much higher if the partnership had more resources. 

“What these numbers represent is an increased commitment by U.S. and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability in the Central American region, along the U.S. southern border, and in the southern maritime approaches to the U.S.,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Carter, the commanding officer of the Legare. “Today’s offload sends them a message that our network of partners and allies remains resolute in our commitment to stem the flow of illicit trafficking that breeds instability."

Video tour of the Legare's cargo (USCG Seventh District Southeast)