US Coast Guard seizes US$200 million cocaine haul

Image: Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Masaschi
Image: Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Masaschi – The boarding team from USCG Steadfast detains three suspected traffickers and an estimated 1,000 kilograms of cocaine on April 2.

The crew of the US Coast Guard cutter Steadfast has returned to Astoria with a US$200 million cocaine haul after a 60-day counternarcotic patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Patrolling international waters off the coast of Mexico and Central America, Steadfast’s law-enforcement boarding teams intercepted and stopped eight separate vessels suspected of smuggling illicit drugs.

The boardings resulted in the discovery and seizure of 5,952 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $200 million wholesale.

The 64-metre cutter deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force South with the primary mission of detecting and interdicting illegal drug traffickers.

Steadfast led an international training exercise with two Mexican Naval vessels in support of the North American Maritime Security Initiative.

Steadfast also responded to a distress call from a Guatemalan fishing vessel during its 13,000-nautical-mile journey.

The Reliance-class medium endurance cutter has been homeported in Astoria since 1994.

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