Coast Guard Offloads $46.7 Million of Cocaine in St. Pete
The drugs were seized at sea between Dec. 20-22.
ST. PETERSBURG – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa today (Feb. 2) unloaded in St. Petersburg nearly two tons of cocaine that was seized in the Caribbean Sea.
While patrolling in support of Operation Unified Resolve and Operation Martillo, about 1,580 kgs of cocaine were seized, worth $46,681,100wholesale, by the U.S. Coast Guard and partner nation crews between Dec. 20-22.
On Dec. 20, during a joint boarding, 820 kgs was seized. That boarding was conducted by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier and Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez, which are based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The remainder was seized Dec. 22 by the Coast Guard’s TacticalLaw Enforcement Team South deployed aboard HNLMS Van Speijk, a Royal
Netherlands Navy ship, operating in the Caribbean.
“This offload represents nearly two tons of illicit drugs that will never hit our streets,” said Cmdr. Nick Simmons, commanding officer of the Tampa. “This is the result of the combined efforts of our partners and allied men and women who continue to work day and night to stop these criminal organizations from profiting off transnational crime and smuggling.”
Operation Unified Resolve is a combined effort between the Coast Guard and international partners in the Caribbean region to deter illicit activity and interdict vessels smuggling drugs and illegal migrants to the U.S. Operation Martillo is Joint Interagency Task Force South-led, multinational detection, monitoring and interdiction operation conducted by the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard , and Customs and Border Protection vessels andaircraft working in cooperation with military and law enforcement agencies from various Central and South American nations, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Coast Guard Cutter Tampa is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter based out of Portsmouth, VA. Tampa regularly conducts 60 to 90-day maritime law enforcement and Homeland Security deployments to the Eastern Pacific, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean.
Tampa‘s primary missions include counter-drug and migrant interdiction operations, search and rescue, national defense, and international engagement. This cutter is the fourth Coast Guard cutter to bear the name “Tampa,” and named in honor of the USS Tampa that was sunk by a German U-Boat during World War I. The crew will participate in the dedication of a mural commemorating the 100th anniversary of sinking of the original cutter at the Tampa Bay History Center 1t 10 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 3).
Main photo shows a crewmember aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa helping his crew during the offload of about two tons of cocaine today (Feb 2) in St. Petersburg. Photos courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.
U.S. Coast Guard | Cocaine | Drug Seizure | Cocaine Seized | Illegal Drugs | Tampabay News
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