VIDEO OF THE DAY: U.S. Coast Guard Offloads 18.5 Tons of Interdicted Cocaine in Port Everglades

By  //  November 18, 2018

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interdicted off Mexico, Central and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters

ABOVE VIDEO: The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded approximately 18.5 tons of cocaine Thursday in Port Everglades worth more than an estimated $500 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded approximately 18.5 tons of cocaine Thursday in Port Everglades worth more than an estimated $500 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were interdicted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

The offload represents 15 separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:

  • The cutter James was responsible for nine cases seizing an estimated 19,288 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Bear (WMEC-901) was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 44 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL-752) was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 440 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618) was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,148 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless (WMEC-624) was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 2,050 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC-625) was responsible for two cases seizing an estimated 3,100 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer (WMEC-905) was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 4,497 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Campbell (WMEC-909) was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 5,441 pounds of cocaine.

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime.

The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations.

The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast, and in Puerto Rico.

Pictured is the Coast Guard Cutter James crew, Claire M. Grady, acting Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary, Adm. Karl Schultz, Coast Guard Commandant, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Adm. Peter Brown, commander of Coast Guard 7th District with 18.5 tons of interdicted cocaine on deck Nov. 15, 2018 in Port Everglades, Florida. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

The Coast Guard increased the U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy.

During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel.

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 are conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District headquartered in Alameda, California.

A pallet of interdicted cocaine being offloaded from the Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) by crane Nov. 15, 2018, in Port Everglades, Florida. The crew of the cutter James offloaded approximately 18.5 tons of cocaine in Port Everglades worth more than an estimated $495 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

The cutter Bear is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Stratton is a 418-foot legend-class cutter homeported in Alameda, California. The cutter Active is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in Port Angeles, Washington. The cutter Dauntless is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in Pensacola, Florida.

The cutter Venturous is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. The cutter James is a 418-foot legend-class cutter homeported in North Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The cutter Campbell is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine.

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