Coast Guard Intercepts $25.7 Million Worth of Narcotics in the Caribbean

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912) on Wednesday offloaded 5,000 pounds of interdicted contraband — 1,100 pounds of cocaine and 3,900 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of $25.7 million — at Port Everglades.

While on patrol in the Caribbean Sea, two Coast Guard cutters confiscated the contraband from suspected drug smuggling vessels.

The Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser (WPC 1116) crew interdicted the cocaine, while the Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Shamal (PC 13) crew, with embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), interdicted the marijuana.

The Coast Guard said the fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases of the interception process. From detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys Offices in districts across the nation.

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Caribbean Sea is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 7th District, which is headquartered in Miami, Florida. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

On April 1 this year, the U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, designed to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives.

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperate in the effort to combat transnational organized crime.

The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play important roles in the counter-drug operations.

The Winslow Griesser is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters are a key component of the Coast Guard’s offshore fleet that is capable of deployment independently to conduct missions. These cutters have an enhanced response time and have the ability to conduct missions on moderate and heavy seas.

The Legare is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter that is homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia.

The USS Shamal is a 179-foot Cyclone class coastal patrol ship that is homeported in Mayport, Florida.

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