US Navy destroyer seizes US$6 million in cocaine in Caribbean Sea

Photo: US Coast Guard

The US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd and its embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team seized 225 kilograms of cocaine and apprehended three suspected smugglers following the interdiction of a drug smuggling go-fast in the Caribbean Sea during a recent operation.

Two suspected smugglers are Dominican nationals and one is Colombian, while the seized cocaine has a wholesale value of approximately US$6 million.

The interdiction is the result of an international, multi-agency law enforcement effort in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard, Campaign Martillo (a joint, interagency, 20-nation collaborative counter narcotic effort), and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).

During a routine patrol in support of Joint Interagency Task Force – South’s mission to detect attempts to transport contraband into the US and partner nations, Kidd‘s helicopter crew sighted a suspicious go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea. The destroyer’s crew then coordinated with the Coast Guard Seventh District to interdict the suspect vessel.

The helicopter crew observed the suspected smugglers jettison multiple bales into the water as the go-fast continued to evade capture.

Sailors from Kidd successfully interdicted and boarded the go-fast with the assistance of the embarked LEDET team.

The suspected smugglers were apprehended and eight jettisoned bales were recovered from the water. The seized contraband tested positive for cocaine.

The coast guard cutter Resolute later embarked and transported the suspected smugglers and seized contraband to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where awaiting US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agents received custody.

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