US Navy LCS interdicts over US$100 million in drugs

Photo: US Navy/Lieutenant (junior grade) Miranda Rossum

The US Navy Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Gabrielle Giffords successfully seized an estimated 2,810 kilograms of suspected cocaine during an interdiction operation on the high seas in the Eastern Pacific Ocean earlier this month.

While on routine patrol, Gabrielle Giffords was diverted to intercept a low-profile semi-submersible vessel. The ship then deployed one of its helicopters to provide overwatch and ensure compliance while the embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team and small boats were deployed to achieve positive control and begin boarding of the suspect vessel.

Giffords‘ crew and the embarked LEDET team searched the vessel and recovered approximately 134 bales, for an estimated 2,810 kilograms of suspected cocaine worth over an estimated wholesale value of US$106 million.

Three suspected drug traffickers were also detained.

Gabrielle Giffords is deployed to the US Fourth Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

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