$331 Million worth of cocaine seized over three months

SAN DIEGO — More than eight and half tons of cocaine seized or recovered in fourteen interdictions in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean were offloaded from the USS Vandergrift (FFG 48) Friday and turned over to federal officials as evidence in the prosecution of suspected smugglers.

All of the contraband, worth an estimated $331-million, was intercepted between mid-September and early December by U.S.

“Every load of cocaine stopped at sea represents lives saved here at home, and resources denied to the trans-national criminal organizations behind the smuggling,” said Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio, Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District.

Of the cocaine offloaded in San Diego, Vandergrift and their Coast Guard law enforcement detachment were responsible for intercepting six loads from suspicious vessels or drifting at sea.

The busts are a result of an ongoing effort dubbed Operation Martillo, a joint, international law enforcement and military operation involving the U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targeting illicit-trafficking routes in the waters off Central America.

Categories: KUSI