After more than two months at sea, members aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton spent four hours offloading more than 66,000 pounds of cocaine today they and our partner agencies interdicted at sea in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
“The individuals that are moving this product – everyone of these bricks of cocaine is destined to the United States,” said Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Paul Zukunft. “In what fuels their economy, is this illicit contraband that will be off-loaded today. This is depriving them the means to operate, the means to undermine regional stability, which is causing young boys and girls to flee crime-ridden countries to find refuge here in the United States.”
For their extraordinary efforts, the crew of the Stratton received the Director’s Award for Sustained Distinguished Service from the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy. In the award the crew is recognizezd for interdicting “eight vessels, including two self-propelled, semi-submerisbles (SPSS), and also disrupted another seven vessels.”
Overall, during their deployment from April to August 2015, Stratton seized or disrupted a total of 16 metric tons of cocaine worth more the $540 million wholesale.
The crew also received a letter of appreciation from the United States Interdiction Coordinator, James C. Olson, stating his appreciation for their dedication on an accomplished deployment.
The Coast Guard’s leadership role in Western Hemisphere security and prosperity is critical in the fight against transnational organized crime networks active in the Western Hemisphere as continually strained national security resources are stretched across the globe.
To view the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s statement on this offload, please visit the Department of Homeland Security webpage.