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USCG Cutter James Offloads 10 Tonnes of Cocaine in Port Everglades

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Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded illegal narcotics in Port Everglades - U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally

By The Maritime Executive 06-09-2020 06:02:29

The U.S. Coast Guard showed off large caches of illegal narcotics seized as part of U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

The Coast Guard Cutter James arrived in Port Everglades, Florida offloading approximately 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of $408 million, seized in a series of recent actions.

The Coast Guard reported that the drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central, and South America, and in the Caribbean during 11 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships. The interdictions, including the boardings, were led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The cutter James was responsible for four interdictions, seizing about 8,400 pounds of cocaine and 3,300 pounds of marijuana; the Mohawk seized about 1,700 pounds of cocaine; the Escanaba seized about 2,200 pounds of cocaine; and the Confidence seized about 1,000 pounds of cocaine.

The U.S. Navy also made significant contributions to the haul. The destroyer USS Pinckney was responsible for two interdictions, seizing about 9,000 pounds of cocaine.The USS Lassen, another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was responsible for two interdictions, seizing about 575 pounds of cocaine and 3,575 pounds of marijuana. 

"The roughly 15 tons of illicit narcotics being offloaded here today and the likely ensuing prosecutions, are the results of extraordinary teamwork and intelligence-driven operations," said Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard. "It is important to note that our fellow citizens aren't the only ones who benefit from these counter-narcotics efforts. Our Central American neighbors face tremendous strain from drug-fueled violence sparked by transnational criminal organizations. Efforts like this enhanced counter-drug operation significantly disrupt the criminal activity destabilizing the region."