Last month the United States Coast Guard Cutter James’ crew offloaded approximately 54,500 pounds of cocaine and 15,800 pounds of marijuana, worth roughly $1.06 billion at Port Everglades.
That’s according to a release from the U.S. Southern Command.
The ship’s crew set new records during a 90-day patrol for the biggest single cocaine interdiction at 10,915 pounds, worth $206.4 million, and the largest single marijuana interdiction at 3,962 pounds, worth $3.59 million, the most significant amount of contraband interdicted during an Eastern Pacific patrol.
“The Coast Guard’s strong international relationships, specialised capabilities and unmatched authorities, allowed for a unity of effort to disrupt transnational criminal organisations,” the release noted.
It disclosed that the drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea by crews from:
* Coast Guard Station San Juan
* Coast Guard Cutter James
*His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Holland
*Coast Guard Cutter Stone
*Coast Guard Cutter Giiesser
*Coast Guard Cutter Northland
*Coast Guard Cutter Diligence
*Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell
Coast Guard Cutter James Commander Captain Todd Vance said the best part of his job is standing at the end of a patrol and providing visibility on the incredible efforts from crew members.
Vance said the crew had volunteered for “the challenging and dangerous duties to keep our shores safe”.
“Each interdiction is a complex evolution and no two interdictions are the same. In fact, the James’ crew conducted simultaneous interdictions of two go-fast vessels 55 miles apart this patrol, showcasing their dedication and professional execution of the counter-drug mission,” Vance explained.
The Coast Guard Cutter James is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security cooperated to combat transnational organised crime.
The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations.
The US Southern Command says the fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea requires unity in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.
Headline photo courtesy U.S. Southern Command