USCG offloads more than $92 million worth of cocaine in San Diego
The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than $92 million worth of seized cocaine in San Diego Wednesday. The USCG says that the cocaine, worth more than $92 million, was seized in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The contraband represents four utter nsuspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the crews of three Coast Guard cutters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America between late July and early October by the following Coast Guard cutters:
Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMEC-630) was responsible for two cases, seizing approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine
Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward (WPC-1130) was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 1,500 pounds of cocaine
Coast Guard Cutter Seneca (WMEC-906) was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 1,400 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 throughout the country.
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 is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District headquartered in Alameda.
The Alert is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The Robert Ward is a 154-foot fast-response cutter homeported in San Pedro. The Seneca is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts.