Coast Guard Cutter Legare returns home after seizing $59 million in drugs in 48 days

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Legare returned home Wednesday after a 48-day patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean. During their patrol, the crew seized more than 1800 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of $59.5 million.

Legare interdicted three vessels transporting cocaine and detained ten suspected drug smugglers.

Two of these interdictions involved the use of engine- disabling gunfire to stop suspected smuggling vessels after they ignored both orders to stop and warning shots. The engine-disabling fire was employed by aircrews of the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, based in Jacksonville, Fla.

Legare supported the interdiction of a fourth smuggling vessel by launching its HITRON helicopter to assist the Coast Guard Forward, also homeported in Portsmouth, in their pursuit of a suspect vessel. Together, Forward and Legare interdicted the suspected smuggling vessel and seized approximately 600 kilograms of cocaine that was onboard. Three suspected smugglers were detained by Legare.

Legare also encountered two separate unseaworthy migrant vessels in the Florida Straits and saved the lives of 16 Cuban migrants. In both cases Legare’s crew worked with Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber.

Coast Guard Cutter Legare is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter. The medium endurance class routinely deploys along the southern approaches to the U.S. conducting search and rescue, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and counter-drug operations.

The medium endurance class is set to be replaced, starting in 2021, by the offshore patrol cutter fleet.

More Legare coverage:

Coast Guard Cutter Legare holds change-of-command ceremony

Cutter Legare returns after two months at sea

Portsmouth-based Coast Guard cutter unloads $110 million in seized cocaine in Miami