A local US Coast Guard cutter has returned to Port Angeles following a successful 50-day counter-narcotics patrol off the Pacific coast of Central America.
During the patrol, the 65-person crew of Coast Guard Cutter Active interdicted three suspected smuggling vessels, detained nine suspects, and seized more than 4,500 pounds of cocaine valued at over $68 million.
Active’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Benjamin D. Berg said:
The crew performed at the top of their game during multiple successful interdictions of illegal narcotics likely bound for the streets of the United States. After two months of around-the-clock helicopter and boat operations, we are eager to return home.
Active’s crew routinely operates from Central America to the coast of Washington conducting search and rescue, counter-narcotics patrols, fisheries law enforcement, and other Coast Guard missions.
U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific occur under the tactical control of the Eleventh Coast Guard District. The Eleventh Coast Guard District encompasses the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and the coastal and the offshore waters of Mexico and Central America down to South America.
Active’s crew patrolled in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South, a National Task Force under U.S. Southern Command. JIATF South oversees the detection and monitoring of illicit traffickers and assists U.S. and multi-national law enforcement agencies with the interdiction of these illicit traffickers. During at-sea busts in international waters, these interdictions are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guard personnel or partner nation law enforcement agencies.