More than 7 tons of cocaine seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from early June to mid-July was offloaded by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) Thursday in Port Everglades.
The drugs were seized during the interdiction of seven suspected smuggling vessels and the recovery of two floating bale fields found off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by the cutter Mohawk, Coast Guard Cutter Tampa (WMEC-902), Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC-625) and Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMEC-630).
- Mohawk was responsible for four cases, seizing an estimated 3,395 kilograms of cocaine.
- The cutter Tampa was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 1,363 kilograms of cocaine.
- The cutter Venturous was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 741 kilograms of cocaine.
- The cutter Alert was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 981 kilograms of cocaine.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Mohawk’s crew,” said Cmdr. Bob Kinsey, cutter Mohawk commanding officer. “Today’s offload highlights the successes of a dedicated team of multiple cutters and international and interagency partners who remain committed to disabling the illicit smuggling networks that fuel criminal organizations and threaten our economic, national and border security.”
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the maritime domain requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.
The Coast Guard 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 Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida. 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, California. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida. The cutter Tampa is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Venturous is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. The cutter Alert is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon.