USS Ingraham (FFG 61) with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Detachment 2 and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) disrupted approximately 793 kilograms of cocaine while conducting counter narcotic operations in the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility in June.
Ingraham, based in Everett, Washington, successfully tracked and intercepted the Maria Bonita. One of Ingraham’s SH-60B Seahawks visually located the vessel and maintained contact while Ingraham closed in on the Maria Bonita.
The U.S. Coast Guard LEDET embarked the vessel, apprehended four personnel, and conducted a search of the craft. Their search revealed 30 bales of cocaine in a hidden compartment totaling 793 kilograms.
“Narcotics smuggling in this area of ocean has been going on for awhile; it is my goal to improve our tactics and efficiency to the extent that we make it increasingly costly and challenging for the traffickers,” said Cmdr. Dan Straub, commanding officer of Ingraham.
The Maria Bonita, as well as the four detainees and narcotics, were later turned over to Costa Rican officials.
Ingraham has disrupted a total of 4,551 kilograms of cocaine during her deployment. This is her second successful interception since arriving to Fourth Fleet in support of Operation Martillo. Her first interception was the seizure of a self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) in May.
Press Release, June 26, 2014; Image: Wikimedia