The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Forward (WMEC-911) offloaded approximately 34,780 pounds of intercepted cocaine in Port Everglades, Florida Tuesday.
According to the Coast Guard, the drugs, which were intercepted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, are worth an estimated $466 million. They represent 21 separate drug-smuggling vessel interactions:
- Coast Guard Cutter Forward was responsible for eight cases, seizing an estimated 14,207 pounds of cocaine.
- Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753) was responsible for five cases, seizing an estimated 9,460 pounds of cocaine.
- Coast Guard Cutter Campbell (WMEC-909) was responsible for four cases, seizing an estimated 6,153 pounds of cocaine.
- Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMEC-630) was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 5,736 pounds of cocaine.
- Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC-625) was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,565 pounds of cocaine.
- Coast Guard Cutter Confidence (WMEC-619) was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 553 pounds of cocaine.
The Coast Guard said in a statement that it increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its strategy to combat transnational organized crime.
“The interdiction and disruption of more than 17 tons of cocaine is a result of the collaboration and coordination of multiple Coast Guard and inter-agency assets to address the complex maritime challenge of transnational criminal organizations,” said Cmdr. Michael Sharp, commanding officer of the Cutter Forward. “I am extremely proud of all the women and men that contributed to the mission success. It is a direct reflection of how the U.S. Coast Guard delivers mission excellence anytime, anywhere.”