Coast Guard Offloads 14,000 Pounds of Cocaine in Port Everglades
MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell offloaded approximately 7 tons of cocaine June 8 in Port Everglades worth an estimated $206 million wholesale seized in international waters from the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a release.
The drugs were interdicted during seven cases of suspected smuggling vessels off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by Campbell and the cutter Active between late April and late May. Campbell was responsible for six cases, seizing an estimated 5,435 kilograms. Active was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 827 kilograms.
“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work of Campbell’s law enforcement teams, my entire crew, and their shipmates aboard the cutter Active that made these impressive interdictions over the past few months possible,” said Cmdr. Mark McDonnell, the cutter’s commanding officer. “The persistent presence of Coast Guard and partner agencies, along with our foreign nation counterdrug partners, in the highly trafficked Eastern Pacific drug transit zone is essential to dismantling the crime networks that threaten the U.S. with their illicit activities. These collaborative efforts and our ability to seamlessly integrate with partner agencies and nations are the key to the safe and successful execution of these complex interdiction operations.”
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counterdrug 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 criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.
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 detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.