ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — The crew of the Alameda-based Coast Guard Cutter Munro offloaded nearly 20,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $338 million Monday seized during drug interdiction operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The cocaine seizures came as part of Campaign Martillo, a high seas operation targeting shipments from drug smuggling cartels bound for the streets of the United States.
“This cocaine will never make it into our homes, schools and communities to fuel violent crime, addiction and death,” said David King, the director for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HITDA) program.
The fight against drug cartels combines detection, monitoring and interdictions from the Coast Guard and criminal prosecutions of the cases by U.S. Attorneys in districts within Florida and Texas. The drugs are offloaded at a Coast Guard facility in San Diego.
“By disrupting the profits of these cartels, we are reducing their effectiveness and helping our partner nations maintain their stability,” said Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. “These efforts also provide invaluable information to us that we can then use to stop these drugs further up the supply chain before they begin these dangerous routes at sea.”
While the Munro delivered the large bundles of cocaine to port in San Diego, the drugs were seized in operations by four Coast Guard vessels.
Eight interdictions were made between mid-November and mid-January by the joint efforts of the following four separate Coast Guard cutter crews:
- The Key West-based Thetis was responsible for two case seizing 6,830 pounds
- The St. Petersburg-based Resolute was responsible for one case seizing 1,951 pounds
- The Portsmouth, Virginia-based Tampa was responsible for two cases seizing 4,270 pounds
- The Alameda-based Munro was responsible for three cases seizing 6,680 pounds
The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda.