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Home / drugs intercepted

Coast Guard ship intercepts drugs worth $158 million

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast offloaded more than 11,600 pounds of cocaine and 5,500 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $158 million in San Diego, Coast Guard officials said Tuesday.

The interdictions were conducted during counter-narcotics patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean between May and July by crews of the Mohawk, Vigilant and Steadfast.

“The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Vigilant, Mohawk and Steadfast worked diligently to combat transnational organized crime, disrupt drug flow and prevent a significant amount of drugs from reaching the U.S.,” Rear Adm. Andrew Sugimoto, commander, Coast Guard 11th District, said in a statement. “Their unwavering commitment while interdicting drug smugglers at sea is not only commended, but their continued efforts are unmatched.”

Agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat organized crime. The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with the Mexican Navy, contributed to the counter-narcotic operation, officials said.

“Nothing is guaranteed when a Coast Guard crew says ‘goodbye’ to loved ones and embarks on a multi-month patrol,” Cmdr. Brock Eckel, commanding officer of the Steadfast, said in a statement. “However, our team worked incredibly hard, day-and-night, to stop three smuggling vessels, preventing more than five tons of illicit narcotics from reaching American soil. I am honored to serve with the amazing Steadfast crew and share in their success.”

The Steadfast is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. It patrols along the western seaboard of the United States, Mexico and North and Central America conducting search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, living marine resource protection and homeland defense operations.

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