U.S. Coast Guard Seizes 12,000 Pounds of Cocaine Worth $209 Million, Rescues Three Sea Turtles
By Space Coast Daily // June 16, 2018
detained 24 suspected smugglers
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Coast Guard Cutter Campbell returned to its homeport in Kittery, Maine, Friday after an 80-day counter-narcotic patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Campbell’s crew disrupted six narcotic smuggling ventures, seized about 12,000 pounds of cocaine, worth $209 million, and detained 24 suspected smugglers.
Equipped with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron unit based in Jacksonville, Florida, the Campbell patrolled known narcotic transit zones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, which facilitates international and interagency interdiction to enable the disruption and dismantlement of illicit and converging threat networks in support of national and hemispheric security.
Campbell’s crew also rescued three sea turtles found entangled in loose fishing gear.
“During this challenging deployment, the crew excelled in all assigned missions and should be exceptionally proud of their accomplishments,” said Cmdr. Mark McDonnell, commanding officer of the Campbell.
“Our efforts to integrate with partner agencies and nations are key to the safe and successful execution of these complex interdiction operations as we work together to remove cocaine bound for the United States and help dismantle criminal networks.”
Campbell is a 29-year-old Famous-Class cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine, with a crew complement of 100.
ABOVE VIDEO: Crewmembers from Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine, rescue two sea turtles entangled in abandoned fishing gear May 5, 2018, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Coast Guardsmen were dispatched in the cutter’s interceptor boat to rescue the distressed animals spotted by lookouts during a counter-narcotics patrol in the region. The turtles swam free and the fishing gear was removed from the ocean. (Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory Mendenhall)
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