US Coast Guard seizes US$156 million in drugs in three interdictions in Eastern Pacific

The US Coast Guard boarding team member from the cutter Bertholf stands atop an interdicted low-profile vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (Photo: US Coast Guard)

Crews aboard two Alameda-based US Coast Guard cutters recently interdicted three suspected drug smuggling vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and seized more than 4,000 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated US$156 million.

Conducting the operations were the crews of the Legend-class national security cutters Munro and Bertholf.

Munro‘s crew boarded a fishing vessel suspected of smuggling illicit narcotics. Exercising a bilateral agreement with a partner nation, the boarding teams searched and discovered over 580 kilograms of cocaine concealed within the vessel.

Munro‘s crew interdicted a second suspected drug-smuggling vessel hours later after a maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspicious vessel and directed the cutter towards it.

Munro launched a helicopter aircrew and boarding teams, and together they interdicted a low-profile vessel. The boarding teams discovered over 1,500 kilograms of cocaine aboard the purpose-built, drug-smuggling vessel.

Six days later, Bertholf‘s boarding teams also interdicted a low-profile vessel, seizing more than 1,900 kilograms of cocaine.

Nine suspected traffickers were taken into custody between the three interdictions.

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