US Coast Guard seizes $30M worth of cocaine, arrests four

The seized cocaine was offloaded at Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico Jan. 8, 2017. Photo: US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard said it offloaded some 2,000 pounds (907 kg) of seized cocaine and handed over four suspected smugglers to U.S. federal law enforcement authorities at Coast Guard Sector San Juan on Sunday.

The cocaine’s wholesale value was estimated at around $30 million.

The interdiction took place on January 2 when the crew of a Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft on a routine patrol located a suspicious go-fast vessel just off the Dominican Republic.

The USS Zephyr was diverted to interdict the suspect vessel. The Zephyr, operating with a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment onboard, interdicted the go-fast, detained the four suspected smugglers and seized numerous bales which tested positive for cocaine.

The interdiction and seizure of contraband was the result of ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.

The seized contraband and detainees were transferred by the Zephyr to the Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley for transport to Puerto Rico, where they were placed in the custody of drug enforcement administration special agents.

“The crew of the USS Zephyr and the USCG Law Enforcement Team performed phenomenally well as they held station and interdicted the go-fast,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cameron Ingram, USS Zephyr commanding officer. “This successful boarding led to the seizure of over 2,000 pounds of cocaine, furthering protection to our shores and contributing security within the region and homeland.”

“This is the result of a great and extraordinary interagency effort from the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force,” said Matt Donahue, special agent in charge DEA Caribbean division. “Undoubtedly, the cooperation in this joint investigation between DEA, FBI , HSI and USCG illustrates the great things law enforcement can achieve to combat drug trafficking in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Region”

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Sea-Air-Space 2018

Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission…

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Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology 2017

Maximising Maritime Situational Awareness Capabilities for the Safety and Protection of International Waters

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After last year’s huge success the SMi Group is proud to announce the 2nd Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology. The event will be held in Rome on the 30th and 31st of January 2017.

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This high level meeting will bring together senior military leadership, project decision makers, technical experts and cutting edge industry solution providers to explore future endeavours that will enhance the security and stability of the world’s oceans.

The 2017 programme will:

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  • Colonel Sergio Cavuoti, Chief of the Intelligence and Awareness Policy Branch of the Air Staff Aerospace Planning Division, Italian Air Force

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  • Commodore William Ellis, Commander CTF-67, US Naval Forces Europe
  • Captain Jan De Beurme, Chief of Staff, Belgian Navy
  • Captain Fernando Angelo, Director, Navy Intelligence Analysis Centre,  Portuguese Navy 
  • Wing Commander Richard Berry, P-8 Poseidon Program Manager, Royal Air Force
  • Commander Michael Sela, Head of C5I Branch in the R&D department, Israeli Navy
  • Commander Pasi Staff, Chief of Surveillance, Finnish Navy
  • Commander Hannes Schroeder-Lanz, Branch Chief C4ISR, Germany Navy
  • Guy Thomas, Director, C-SIGMA
  • Gerard O’Flynn, Head of SAR Ops, Irish Coast Guard
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10th annual Border Security Conference

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Sea-Air-Space 2017

Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission…

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