MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter James crew on June 9 offloaded about 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana, all worth more than an estimated $408 million, in Port Everglades, Florida, the Coast Guard said.
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 Sea, including contraband seized and recovered during 11 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships:
- The James was responsible for four interdictions, seizing about 8,400 pounds of cocaine and 3,350 pounds of marijuana.
- The cutter Mohawk was responsible for one interdiction, seizing about 1,700 pounds of cocaine.
- The cutter Confidence was responsible for one interdiction, seizing approximately 1,089 pounds of cocaine.
- The cutter Escanaba was responsible for one interdiction, seizing about 2,200 pounds of cocaine.
- The Navy’s USS Pinckney was responsible for two interdictions, seizing approximately 9,050 pounds of cocaine.
- The Navy’s USS Lassen 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,” Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said.
“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.”
The James is a 418-foot national security cutter home ported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida. The Escanaba is a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston. The Confidence, a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter, is homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida. The Pinckney is a 510-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer homeported in Naval Base San Diego. The Lassen also is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Florida.