US Coast Guard cutter offloads more than US$411 million in seized drugs

Photo: US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Villa Rodriguez

The crew of the US Coast Guard Legend-class national security cutter James offloaded more than 10,000 kilograms of cocaine and nearly 4,000 kilograms of marijuana worth more than US$411.3 million at Port Everglades, Florida, on Wednesday, December 16.

The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America. The contraband was seized and recovered during 20 interdictions of suspected drug-smuggling vessels by eight American and UK ships including the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence, the littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords, and the fleet supply ship RFA Argus.

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the US Coast Guard.

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