US Coast Guard offloads US$3M in illegal drugs from traffickers in the Caribbean Sea

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The United States Coast Guard on Friday said that a crew from the Coast Guard Cutter, Vigorous, offloaded about 22 pounds of cocaine and 1,256 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $3 million at Base Miami Beach.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said that the drugs seized is in keeping with its fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

“Vigorous is glad to have been able to make an important contribution to the Coast Guard’s counterdrug mission,” said Commandeer Ryan A Waters, commanding officer of Vigorous.

“I’m incredibly proud of the hardworking Vigorous crew’s proficiency, teamwork and devotion to duty that enabled the detection, interdiction and boarding of a vessel suspected of drug smuggling,” he added.

According to Coast Guard officials, the fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean, and the transnational criminal organisations they are associated with, “requires a unity of effort in all phases; from detection and monitoring to interdiction and apprehension, and on to criminal prosecutions by international partners and US Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.”

“Detecting and interdicting illegal drug traffickers on the high seas involves significant interagency and international coordination.”

It said the Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida, conducts detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs.

Maritime interdiction of illicit maritime activity in the Caribbean Sea is coordinated by the Seventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Miami, Florida, and the Eleventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California coordinates interdiction of illicit maritime activity in the Eastern Pacific.

The Vigorous generally deploys 185 days a year for patrols lasting 45 to 60 days to a variety of operating areas, extending from the Gulf of Maine to the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific Ocean.