Adm. Karl Schulz, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Rear Adm. José Jauquín Amézquita García, head of Naval planning for the Colombian Navy, Capt. Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) provide a press briefing discussing the seizures of illegal contraband at Port Everglades, Florida, October 28, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez)

Coast Guard Cutter James Offloads 28,000 Pounds of Cocaine, 11,000 Pounds of Marijuana at Port Everglades

The Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) crew offloaded approximately 28,000 pounds of seized cocaine worth an estimated $367 million and approximately 11,000 pounds of seized marijuana worth an estimated $10.1 million at Port Everglades.

The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Caribbean Basin and the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America and include contraband seized and recovered in 18 separate interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by U.S. Coast Guard:

  • The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant (WMEC-621) crew was responsible for two cases, seizing approximately 4,184 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer (WMEC-905) crew was responsible for one interdiction seizing approximately 1,477 pounds of cocaine.
  • The cutter James crew was responsible for six interdictions seizing approximately 7,022 pounds of cocaine and 4,085 pounds marijuana.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Northland (WMEC-904) was responsible for two interdictions seizing more than 12,214 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Harriett Lane (WMEC-903) crew was responsible for two cases, seizing nearly 750 pounds of cocaine and 5,540 pounds of marijuana.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC-910) crew was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 160 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC-625) crew was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 890 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Confidence (WMEC-619) crew was responsible for one case, seizing nearly 110 pounds of cocaine and 1,600 pounds of marijuana.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC-913) crew was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 1,930 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 800 pounds of cocaine.

“What you see is 19 tons of narcotics seized from 18 separate Coast Guard interdiction events, with a street value worth more than $375 million. These drugs will not reach Main Street USA due to the efforts of the James crew and other Coast Guard cutters involved in these interdictions,” said Capt. Jeffrey Randall, Coast Guard Cutter James commanding officer. “The James crew conducted counter-drug operations with the cooperative efforts with regional partner nations, like Columbia, Costa Rica and alongside the agencies involved in Operation Martillo to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Due to this cooperative effort, we maintain an offensive against criminal networks and criminal organizations.”

The cutter Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Mayport, Florida. The cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The cutter James is a 418-foot legend-class cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Northland is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Harriett Lane is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida. The cutter Venturous is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. The cutter Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida. The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida. The cutter Vigilant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida.

Read more at USCG

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