The USCGC Vigilant crew (WMEC 617) offloaded illegal narcotics worth an estimated $236 million on Wednesday in Port Everglades before returning to homeport in Port Canaveral.
The crew of the 67-year-old Vigilant offloaded more than 17,000 pounds of cocaine and marijuana following a 45-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. An embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment augmented the ship’s crew leveraging the service’s unique capabilities and authorities to perform law enforcement operations in international waters.
The drugs, which include nearly 12,000 pounds of cocaine and more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana, were seized during five interdictions conducted by crews of the Vigilant, USCGC Tampa (WMEC 902), and the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Harry Dewolf (AOPV 430) in international waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America.
Numerous U.S. and partner nation agencies cooperate to combat transnational organized crime.
“The successful interdiction of over 17,000 pounds of illegal narcotics and the apprehension of 17 suspected traffickers are the result of tremendous teamwork,” said Cmdr. Jay Guyer, commanding officer of the Vigilant. “We are thankful for coordinated efforts across the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, Customs and Border Protection, as well as our international partners from Canada and throughout Central and South America.”
Vigilant, a 210-foot Reliance-class medium endurance cutter, patrols the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean, performing counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction operations, search and rescue, and fisheries enforcement.