US Coast Guard cutter Stone scores drug haul off Dominican Republic

Two small boat teams from the US Coast Guard cutter Stone intercept a vessel on the Caribbean Sea that they suspect of engaging in illegal activity on January 6, 2021. A coast guard boarding team found 27 bales of cocaine aboard. (Photo: US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class John Hightower)

While in transit to conduct joint operations off the coast of Guyana as part of Operation Southern Cross, the US Coast Guard national security cutter Stone encountered and interdicted a suspected narcotic trafficking vessel in the Caribbean Sea south of the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, January 6.

Having stopped the illicit activity, Stone‘s crew handed off the case to the fast response cutter Raymond Evans and continued their patrol south.

Early on Wednesday, acting on information from a maritime patrol aircraft, Stone‘s crew approached the vessel of interest and exercised US Coast Guard authorities to stop their transit and interdict illicit maritime trade.

Raymond Evans arrived on the scene shortly after. A coast guard boarding team from Raymond Evans then conducted a law enforcement boarding, testing packages found aboard the vessel, revealing bales of cocaine estimated at 970 kilograms total.

Stone‘s crew remained on scene during the search of the vessel to assist if need. Following the boarding, Raymond Evans‘ crew took possession of the contraband and detained the four suspected narcotics-trafficking vessel members.

Evans‘ crew are working with the US Coast Guard 7th District and Department of Justice on the next steps.

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