Navy Busts Colombian Smugglers off Jamaica, Recovers 120 Kilos Cocaine

The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team seized over 120 kilograms of suspected cocaine July 24.

While on routine patrol, approximately 200 nautical miles southwest of Jamaica a helicopter assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 located the vessel and Pinckney soon arrived on scene.  After coordination with the Government of Colombia and Colombian Navy, the vessel was searched and six suspected drug smugglers detained. The mariners are now in Government of Colombia custody.

Upon examination, Pinkney personnel determined one detainee required medical assistance and a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) was necessary for patient survival and transported the patient for further medical treatment.

Pinckney and the embarked LEDET recovered an estimated 120 kilograms of suspected cocaine worth an estimated wholesale value worth over $4.5 million.

USS Pinckney is deployed to the U.S. Fourth Fleet area of operations conducting U.S Southern Command and Joint Interagency Task Force South’s enhanced counter drug operations missions in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere 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 cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.

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