KEY WEST, Fla. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC-913) returned to their homeport in Key West following a 90-day counter-smuggling patrol in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South and operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a release.
The Mohawk crew, along with Coast Guard crews from Tactical Law Enforcement Team-South, Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron and multiple partner agencies, interdicted more than 16,500 pounds of cocaine and more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana to counter and disrupt the illegal smuggling operations of transnational criminal organizations.
The cutter crew also conducted joint operations with crews from the Costa Rica Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas, in which they assisted in the rescue of four Costa Rican mariners. The Mohawk crew also rescued four sea turtles entangled in fishing gear.
The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off Central and South America. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law-enforcement personnel coordinated by JIAFT-S. 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 is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District headquartered in Alameda, California. The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter, whose missions include search and rescue, maritime safety and security, and maritime law enforcement operations, such as illegal migrant and drug interdiction operations.