ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — An Alameda-based Coast Guard crew has seized approximately 1,395 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $24 million from a go-fast vessel in international waters of the Pacific Ocean off Central America.
The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf has been patrol in the region for several months as part of the fight against South American drug cartels.READ MORE: Elderly Asian Woman Stabbing Attack Triggers Blame Game Between San Francisco DA, Police Officers Assn
Late last month, a maritime patrol aircraft spotted a suspected smuggling vessel and diverted the Cutter to the go-fast vessel’s position.READ MORE: 1 Taken To Hospital, 2 Vehicles Damaged In Vegetation Fire Along Highway 101 In San Jose
Once on scene, Bertholf’s crew launched a surveillance drone to locate the suspected smugglers. After the suspected smugglers complied with orders to stop their boat, the crew boarded the vessel and discovered approximately 1,395 pounds of cocaine. Three suspected smugglers aboard the vessel were also detained.MORE NEWS: Snakes by the Planes: Endangered San Francisco Species Found Thriving in Wetlands at SFO
The operation was a joint effort by The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with international partner agencies to halt the transporation of drugs into the United States.