MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba offloaded approximately 3.1 tons of cocaine Monday in Port Everglades worth an estimated $85 million in wholesale value seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The offload comes following interdictions made by crews from the Escanaba and the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive.
“The offload today represents the combined efforts of Escanaba’s crew, and those of our partners and allies,” said Cmdr. Michael Turdo, commanding officer of the Escanaba. “Stopping the illicit flow of drugs to our shores not only keeps them off our street but also keeps money from getting to these criminal organizations.”
The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of the Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guardsmen. The law enforcement phase of counter smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific are conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, California.
The cutter Escanaba is a 270-foot Medium Endurance cutter, homeported in Boston.
The cutter Decisive is a 210-foot Medium Endurance cutter, homeported in Pascagoula, Mississippi.