USCG cutter Legare returns to Portsmouth after USD 390M drugs seizure

The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Legare returned home to Portsmouth on April 28 after seizing a large amount of drugs in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. 

Last week, the Legare crew stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to offload 24,886 pounds of cocaine and 2,664 pounds of marijuana seized from suspected smugglers.

As informed, the contraband is valued at over $390 million wholesale.

During a 67-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Legare crew seized the drugs from 17 suspected drug smuggling vessels, including a low-profile vessel and three panga-style fishing vessels.

The Legare crew engaged in high-speed pursuits with said vessels using their Over the Horizon interceptor boat and an embarked Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactics Squadron aircrew.

The cutter’s crew worked in conjunction with other USCG units, the US Navy, US Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and international partners during this counter-drug operation.

“What these numbers represent is an increased commitment by US and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability in the Central American region, along the US southern border, and in the southern maritime approaches to the US,” Coast Guard Cmdr. Jonathan Carter, the Legare’s commanding officer, said.

Overall coordination of counter-smuggling patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, based in Key West, Florida, and is aimed at disrupting and dismantling illicit threat networks in the region. The law enforcement phase of interdiction operations in the region occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California.

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