U.S. Coast Guard seizes 11 tons of cocaine off coast of Central, South America
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A U.S. Coast Guard crew offloaded about 11 tons of seized cocaine in San Diego Thursday, wrapping up an Eastern Pacific patrol that included 15 maritime drug busts.
The crew of the USCG cutter Sherman dropped off the narcotic haul, confiscated in June and July from ocean-going traffickers in international waters off the coast of Central and South America, at Naval Base San Diego.
The enforcement actions were carried out by personnel aboard the cutters Alert, Reliance, Sherman, Tampa and Vigorous. The vessels are homeported, respectively, in Astoria, Oregon; Kittery, Maine; Honolulu, Hawaii; Portsmouth, Virginia; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
"The diligence of these cutter crews, as well as the air crews and operations support crews ashore, has stopped tons of drugs from reaching our streets,” said Rear Adm. Todd Sokalzuk, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District. "Their success disrupts the violent criminal organizations that ship these drugs and saves lives here at home.”
Since the current fiscal year began in October, the Coast Guard has seized more than 81 tons of cocaine and taken 329 suspected smugglers into custody during 108 interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, according to USCG public affairs.