Crewmembers aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous are scheduled to offload approximately 1,212 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of approximately $40 million today at Port Everglades in Broward County, Florida.
The drugs are the results of two interdictions carried out as part of international Operation Martillo, which is one component in the United States government’s whole-of-government approach to countering the use of the Central American littorals as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons, and cash.
During a patrol on November 2, a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment team (LEDET) aboard the Royal Dutch Navy’s HNLMS Amsterdam detected a go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea. After observing the suspected smugglers jettison suspicious packages the LEDET deployed a boatcrew to investigate. Upon arriving on scene, the boatcrew recovered 19 packages which later tested positive for cocaine.
During the same patrol, the Coast Guard LEDET aboard the HNLMS Amsterdam detected another go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea. The LEDET noticed the suspected smugglers on the go-fast jettison several packages during their attempt to flee from law enforcement. After employing warning signals, the HNLMS Amsterdam’s embarked helicopter crew was able to shoot a disabling round into the engine, causing the go-fast to stop.
The LEDET conducted a boarding on the suspect vessel and recovered 22 packages that later tested positive for cocaine. The three suspected smugglers were transferred to the HNLMS Amsterdam along with the contraband recovered from the go-fast and water.
Press Release, November 15, 2013