SAN DIEGO — Agencies from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including the Coast Guard, detected and interdicted a suspected smuggling vessel carrying about 1,400 pounds of marijuana 40 miles southwest of San Diego on July 25, the Coast Guard 11th District said in a release.
Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (CBP AMO) crews notified watchstanders at San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) of suspected smuggling activity aboard a 35-foot boat at about 7 p.m. The watchstanders diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dorado (WPB 87306) that was conducting a routine counter-smuggling patrol in the area.
Dorado arrived on scene at about 10:30 p.m. after being vectored in by CBP AMO crews. The Dorado crew launched their interceptor boat with a boarding team that discovered the marijuana aboard the suspicious vessel. Two suspected smugglers were detained.
Dorado’s crew transported the marijuana and suspected smugglers to San Diego, where CBP’s AMO crew seized the suspected smuggling vessel and Homeland Security Investigation’s Marine Task Force took custody of the suspected smugglers and contraband.
“The crew of Dorado had a very successful mission while patrolling the waters off the coast of San Diego, and we at the district headquarters could not be prouder of them,” said Capt. Arthur Snyder, Coast Guard 11th District’s chief of response.
The Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) is another example of the evolution of joint operations among interagency partners. Located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ReCoM partnerships include the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in cooperation with state and local law enforcement partners operating along the California coast.
Dorado is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Crescent City.