With the U.S. Coast Guard, the guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) interdicted 528 kg of cocaine, worth an estimated wholesale value of approximately $176-million, and detained four crew members of a suspected narcotic-trafficking vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific, June 17.
The suspected smuggling vessel was spotted during a routine patrol of Eastern Pacific international waters in support of Operation Martillo by Kauffman’s embarked SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron (HSL) 60. Kauffman’s embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) then boarded the vessel.
Once onboard, the LEDET discovered several bales of illicit cargo and identified them as cocaine. They then took custody of the three crew members and the illicit cargo and brought them back to Kauffman.
Image: US Navy