SAN PEDRO, Calif. — The crew of a San Pedro-based Coast Guard cutter returned to their homeport Dec. 8 following a two-week patrol that included the ship’s first drug bust, the 11th Coast Guard District said in a release.
The crew of the recently commissioned Cutter Forrest Rednour interdicted approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana from a suspected smuggling vessel on Nov. 28 in international waters, approximately 30 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico maritime border.
A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations Multi-Enforcement Aircraft spotted a northbound 25-foot cuddy cabin boat with three people aboard just before midnight, Nov. 27. The Forrest Rednour crew arrived on scene, deployed their interceptor boat and stopped the suspect boat. The ship’s law enforcement team initiated a boarding of the U.S.-registered boat and discovered more than 40 bales of marijuana.
The Forrest Rednour crew transferred the marijuana and suspects to Customs and Border Protection agents at Ballast Point.
“These cutters are designed to seamlessly integrate with multiple agency partners to successfully execute an array of missions, so it was great to see it play out flawlessly so early in the ship’s time in service,” said Lt. Graham Sherman, commanding officer of Forrest Rednour. “All members of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism worked well together, and it led to a successful outcome.”
The Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) is an evolution of joint operations among interagency partners. Located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ReCoM partnership includes the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP’s Air and Marine Operations, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in cooperation with state and local law enforcement partners operating along the California coast.
Forrest Rednour was commissioned in San Pedro Nov. 8, and it is one of two new fast response cutters (FRCs) to be homeported in San Pedro. Two additional FRCs are scheduled to be homeported in San Pedro by next summer.
FRC’s are 154-foot multimission ships designed to conduct drug and migrant interdictions; ports, waterways and coastal security operations; fisheries and environmental protection patrols; national defense missions; and search and rescue.