Crewmembers of U.S. Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Florida, offloaded 1,327 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated wholesale value of $20 million, at Base Miami Beach, Saturday morning.
This interdiction took place under Operation Unified Resolve.
On April 21, an aircrew aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 reported a go-fast vessel southwest of the Dominican Republic with suspicious packages on board. The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer launched an armed helicopter and a boatcrew to intercept the vessel before the vessel became dead in the water.
The boatcrew arrived on scene in international waters and discovered 25 packages on board that later tested positive for cocaine.
The two suspected smugglers aboard were taken into custody and transferred to law enforcement officials in Miami.
“This seizure highlights the hard work and dedication of our crews in stopping the illegal flow of drugs in the Caribbean and reducing the destabilizing effects that drugs have on society,” said Cmdr. Anthony Williams, commanding officer of the Spencer.
In calendar year 2013, the Coast Guard Seventh District removed $22 million in marijuana and $1.8 billion in cocaine throughout the Caribbean, including Western Caribbean, Central Caribbean and Eastern Caribbean.
The Coast Guard’s efforts under Operation Unified Resolve contribute to the interagency results being achieved each and every day locally under Operation Caribbean Guard, which coordinates efforts between the Coast Guard, its DHS, Commonwealth and Territorial law enforcement partners, who are working diligently to deter, detect and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since June 2012, the Coast Guard and its interagency partners supporting Caribbean Guard and Unified Resolve have seized more than $1 billion in illicit narcotics and detained nearly 90 suspected smugglers.
The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston.
Press Release, May 12, 2014; Image: USCG