Seized: $27 million worth of cocaine

While on a law enforcement patrol in the western Caribbean Sea Gallatin’s crew seized 2,200 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated value of $27 million. The crew of Gallatin located a 68-foot fishing vessel in the western Caribbean Sea, April 18, 2013, and launched their response boat. The response boat crew boarded the vessel, locating the cocaine and detaining three suspected smugglers.

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Petty Officer 3rd class Brice Fronek, with Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber, guards contraband at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, April 26, 2013. The contraband was seized during an interdiction in the Caribbean Sea, April 18, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.
Petty Officer 3rd class Brice Fronek, with Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber, guards contraband at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, April 26, 2013. The contraband was seized during an interdiction in the Caribbean Sea, April 18, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

The Coast Guard’s ships are truly multi-mission. From fishery patrols to national defense operations the service’s cutters stand as sentinels to our nation. While there are many missions the service conducts, there was only one on the minds of Coast Guard cutter Gallatin’s crew – drug interdiction.

While on a law enforcement patrol in the western Caribbean Sea, Gallatin’s crew seized 2,200 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated value of $27 million. The crew of Gallatin

located a 68-foot fishing vessel in the western Caribbean Sea, April 18, 2013, and launched their response boat. The response boat crew boarded the vessel, locating the cocaine and detaining three suspected smugglers.

“Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin’s most recent interdictions are a testament to the hard work and tenacity of the crew,” said Capt. Caleb Corson, Gallatin’s commanding officer. “Their dedication and drive to succeed make Gallatin a formidable asset for the Coast Guard in its mission to prevent the smuggling of illegal drugs into the U.S.”

Coast Guard Seaman Melissa Prouty offloads contraband at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.
Coast Guard Seaman Melissa Prouty offloads contraband at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

This interdiction was carried out as part of Operation Martillo, one component in the United States government’s approach to countering the use of the Central American waters as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons and cash. The operation is an international one, focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies to counter this illicit trafficking.

“Working with our interagency and international partners, we detained three suspected smugglers and prevented 2,200 pounds of cocaine with a value of $27 million from reaching our streets,” said Rear Adm. William D. Baumgartner, 7th Coast Guard District commander. “While this particular drug seizure is a great success for our interagency partnerships, our focus remains on preventing the harm illicit drugs bring to our communities.”

The contraband, suspected smugglers and fishing vessel were later transferred to crewmembers aboard Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber, a 154-foot fast response cutter. Bernard C. Webber’s crew offloaded the 2,200 pounds of cocaine at Base Miami Beach. The three suspects and fishing vessel were transferred to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in Miami while the seized contraband was transferred to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents.

1 comments on “Seized: $27 million worth of cocaine”

  1. GREAT JOB! I was stationed there from 1981-1984 and it was an awesome experience. Seeing this bust reminds me that some things never change even after all these years…

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