U.S. Coast Guard Seizes 12,000 Pounds of Cocaine Worth $209 Million, Rescues Three Sea Turtles

By  //  June 16, 2018

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detained 24 suspected smugglers

A pallet of cocaine aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, home-ported in Kittery, Maine, is shown during an offload in Port Everglades, Friday June 8, 2018. The Campbell crew was responsible for the interdiction of six of the seven cases, seizing an estimated 12, 000 pounds while on patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Crystalynn A. Kneen. (Photo by Chief Petty Officer Crystalynn Kneen)

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.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, homeported in Kittery, Maine, is shown with 14,000 pounds of interdicted cocaine being offloaded in Port Everglades, Friday June 8, 2018. The Campbell crew was responsible for the interdiction of six of the seven cases, seizing an estimated 12, 000 pounds while on patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Crystalynn A. Kneen. (Photo by Chief Petty Officer Crystalynn Kneen)
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“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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