Everyone knows the Coast Guard operates on the front line of the war on drugs, but few grasp the enormity of the task and just how big a difference drug interdiction operations make on an annual basis.
On Friday, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, held a press conference in Clearwater, Fla. to announce the 2009 interdiction numbers in the war on drugs and the results were impressive. Click here to watch a local news report on the event.
“2009 was one of the best year’s ever,” declared Allen. “We are making a difference.”
In 2009, the Coast Guard and federal partner agencies prevented more than $5-billion in illegal drugs from entering the United States. Guardians worked closely with partners including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tampa, Fla. in apprehending more than 300 drug runners, more than 175 tons of cocaine and in excess of 35 tons of marijuana. Click here to read more on 2009 drug seizure statistics and click here for the most up to date drug seizure numbers from 2010.
For a more in-depth look at the anatomy of a drug bust at sea check out this week’s Parade Magazine. Author Bob Reiss takes readers to the Pacific Ocean with the Guardians of the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman as they seized more than $1.3 billion worth of cocaine on a 10-week drug interdiction patrol. Click here to read the story.