$569M Worth of Cocaine Seized in Coast Guard Operation Offloaded in San Diego; VP Pence Commends Crew

Data pix.

Vice President Mike Pence visited Coast Guard members in San Diego on Thursday as they unloaded 39,000 pounds of cocaine and more than 900 pounds of marijuana seized during a large-scale operation targeting drug smugglers in the Eastern Pacific Ocean over recent months, military officials said.

The drugs were taken from boats, and in one case even a semi-submersible craft, authorities said.

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monro aboard a 35-foot long range interceptor boat supervise the intentional sinking of suspected drug-smuggling boats after seizing cocaine from them in the waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean on May 17, 2019. (Credit: USCG)

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monro aboard a 35-foot long range interceptor boat supervise the intentional sinking of suspected drug-smuggling boats after seizing cocaine from them in the waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean on May 17, 2019. (Credit: USCG)

"The drugs represent 14 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July 2019," the Coast Guard said in a written statement.

The crew of one of the three involved ships, the Coast Guard Cutter Munro, unloaded the nearly 20 tons of illicit cargo on Thursday at the Naval Air Station North Island in the San Diego Bay. The cutter is based out of Alameda.

Pence conveyed the  President's "greetings and gratitude." to the service members.

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monro transfer packages of cocaine from an interceptor boat to the cutter following an interdiction in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on June 6, 2019. (Credit: USCG)

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monro transfer packages of cocaine from an interceptor boat to the cutter following an interdiction in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on June 6, 2019. (Credit: USCG)

"I came here on behalf of your Commander in Chief and on behalf of the American people to say thank you. Thank you for a job well done and welcome home," Pence said. "You've been keeping the watch and you've been protecting American families on this mission."

In one raid on June 19, crew boarded a semi-submersible craft and seized 16,000 pounds of cocaine, officials said. Video footage of the "harrowing  interdiction" has been released by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has increased its presence in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Basin, "which are known drug transit zones," as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy, according to the USCG statement.

"The Coast Guard is seizing illegal drugs at a faster rate than ever before, and you all have been at the tip of the spear making that happen," Pence said.

 

 

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