The Coast Guard Cutter Bear moors at the pier at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Va., Feb. 4, 2016. Bear returned home after a monthlong patrol in the Western Caribbean. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake)

Coast Guard Cutter Bear Crewmembers Return Home After Interdicting $59.8 Million in Drugs

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bear returned to their homeport in Portsmouth, Virginia, after a 45-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea, Saturday.

The crew of the Bear conducted counter-narcotics and migrant interdiction operations as a part of Operation Unified Resolve, as well as took part in a search and rescue case. In total, crewmembers of the Bear detained 12 suspected drug smugglers and confiscated 72 bales of cocaine while working with the Department of Defense and other law enforcement partners.

Notably, the crew of the Bear conducted a four-day boarding on a 295-foot coastal freighter after a maritime patrol aircraft observed the vessel with two suspicious objects being towed astern. Subsequently, Bear’s crew conducted another four-day joint law enforcement boarding with Haitian partners.

“It was an exceedingly difficult boarding due to the vessel’s large size, configuration, and amount of cargo onboard,” said Cmdr. Don Terkanian, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Bear. “I am proud of the hard work and dedication our crewmembers put in during that four-day boarding. I am also thankful for the sacrifices their families make every day to support their Coast Guardsmen and their missions to keep our country safe.”

Read more at USCG

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