The Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore (WPC-1109) crew offloaded approximately 1,300 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $1.1 million dollars, April 13, at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach.
The drugs were interdicted by the Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane (WMEC-903) in the Caribbean Sea from a suspected drug smuggling vessel.
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, 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 drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.
During at-sea interdictions, 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 cutter Harriet Lane is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Kathleen Moore is a 154-foot fast response cutter home ported in Key West, Florida.
On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives.
The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Caribbean Sea is conducted under the authority of the 7th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Miami. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.