Coast Guard Offloads Approximately 10 Tons of Cocaine in Port Everglades
MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) Spencer offloaded approximately 10 tons of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin Nov. 14 in Port Everglades worth an estimated $300 million wholesale that was seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The drugs were interdicted along Mexico and Central America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters. The offload represents 14 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:
■ The CGC Steadfast was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 940 kilograms of cocaine.
■ The CGC James was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 690 kilograms of cocaine.
■ The CGC Alert was responsible for six cases, seizing an estimated 3,305 kilograms of cocaine. and 23 kilograms of heroin.
■ The CGC Aspen was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 102 kilograms of cocaine.
■ The CGC Vigorous was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,150 kilograms of cocaine.
■ The CGC Spencer was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,000 kilograms of cocaine.
■ The CGC Thetis was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,060 kilograms of cocaine.
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast and in the Caribbean.
“This offload today is not just the result of one unit, but the combined efforts of multiple Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and support, as well as that of our partners and allied men and women who continue to work day and night to stop these criminal organizations from profiting off transnational crime and smuggling,” said Cmdr. John Mctamney, commanding officer of Spencer. “While this offload represents approximately 10 tons of illicit drugs that will never hit out streets, it also represents a significant depletion to the cash flow to these criminal organizations.”
The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guardsmen. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific are conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, Calif.