On the evening of March 8, 1973, Coast Guard cutter Dauntless made the Coast Guard’s first seizure of a marijuana smuggler when it stopped the sport fisherman Big L at the western edge of the Bahamas.
Tag: drug interdiction
Coast Guard service members from Port Security Unit 309 and Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant often conduct missions very different from each other. Despite having different missions, these units often operate jointly with other Coast Guard assets and with international partners. In early June, members from both units collaborated to interdict illegal drugs approximately one mile from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay’s shoreline.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships conducted 17 separate interdictions off the coasts of Mexico, Central, and South America seizing approximately $390 million in cocaine and marijuana.
Last week, crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton offloaded 50,550 pounds of cocaine and heroin worth more than $679 million wholesale, which marks a record-breaking year in cocaine seizures for the service. The drugs were seized in 25 different interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean beginning in early August.
Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. Cocaine seizures prevent drugs from reaching America’s streets, while delivering a blow to the wallet and influence of transnational organized crime groups. Without the Coast Guard and its partners, hundreds of millions of dollars would flow past U.S. borders and fuel these crime-terror-insurgency organizations.
It would seem like once a Coast Guard crew interdicts illegal narcotics, the case is over, but that’s far from the truth. After the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton took positive control of a semi-submersible, July 6, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida and Operation Panama Express South investigated and prosecuted the drug traffickers. This Distinguished Public Service Award honors some of the highest levels of interagency coordination and cooperation we’ve seen across myriad U.S. and international entities in our nation’s whole-of-government effort to eradicate transnational organized crime networks.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton interdicts 8.4 tons of uncut cocaine after hunting a drug smuggling semi-submersible in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 18, 2015. Waiting. Watching. Always Ready.
Cocaine seizures prevent drugs from reaching America’s streets, but they also deliver a blow to the wallet and influence of transnational organized crime groups. Without the Coast Guard and its partners, hundreds of millions of dollars would flow past U.S. borders and fuel these crime-terror-insurgency organizations.
Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. In addition to deterrence, Coast Guard drug interdiction accounts for nearly 52% of all U.S. government seizures of cocaine each year.
The Coast Guard maintains a constant presence in the Pacific and Caribbean– two key transit areas with known drug trafficking routes. Since the early 1970s, 378-foot cutters like the Mellon have been instrumental in the detection and interdiction of smugglers and narcotics on the high seas.