Legare Returns After Successful Drug-Interdiction Patrol
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Legare returned home following a 67-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard 5th District said in an April 28 release.
Earlier in the week, the Legare crew stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to offload 24,886 pounds of cocaine and 2,664 pounds of marijuana seized from suspected smugglers. The contraband is valued at over $390 million wholesale.
The Legare crew seized the drugs from 17 suspected drug-smuggling vessels, including a low-profile vessel and three panga-style fishing vessels. The Legare crew engaged in high-speed pursuits with said vessels using their Over-the-Horizon interceptor boat and an embarked Helicopter Interdiction Tactics Squadron aircrew.
Cutter Legare’s crew worked in conjunction with other Coast Guard units, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and international partners during this counter-drug operation.
“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, Legare’s commanding officer. “Legare’s offload earlier this week sends the message that our network of partners and allies remains resolute in our commitment to stem the flow of illicit trafficking that breeds instability.”
Overall coordination of counter-smuggling patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, based in Key West, Florida, and is aimed at disrupting and dismantling illicit threat networks in the region. The law enforcement phase of interdiction operations in the region occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California.