Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton Records First Marijuana Interdiction
MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton crew conducted its first-ever stop, interdiction and seizure of a vessel trafficking marijuana on March 22 while on patrol in the central Caribbean Sea, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a release.
The quick response by the cutter’s law enforcement team led to the apprehension of six suspected smugglers and the seizure of nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana worth more than $3.5 million.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this crew,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, commanding officer of the Hamilton. “Even more important than the drugs they kept from reaching our borders, this crew prevented the criminal organizations from using the illicit proceeds from these drugs to further their criminal enterprises and sow violence and corruption wherever they operate.”
As part of its Western Hemisphere strategy, the Coast Guard has increased its presence in the transit corridors of the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. These routes are vital to the transnational criminal organizations that use them to move drugs to our borders and profit from the movement and sale of illicit goods.
The cutter Hamilton is 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, and is one of the vessels critical to defending and extending U.S. borders far from land. The National Security Cutters are the largest and most technologically advanced ships in the Coast Guard’s fleet and can deploy for extended periods to support national objectives and enforce U.S. law.