News | Nov. 13, 2017

USS Zephyr conducts counternarcotics operations

By U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/ U.S. Fourth Fleet Public Affairs

CARIBBEAN SEA (NNS) -- Coastal patrol ship USS Zephyr (PC 8) intercepted a small boat carrying 35 bales, approximately 700-1,050 kg, of cocaine, while on patrol in the Caribbean Sea, Oct. 29.

Zephyr and an embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) law enforcement detachment (LEDET) were conducting routine counter-illicit trafficking operations when a "go-fast" boat was identified as a possible drug smuggler.

Zephyr approached the vessel, allowing the LEDET to utilize an over-the-horizon (OTH) rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to quickly board and gain control of the vessel. A search of the vessel revealed 17 bales, which all tested positive for cocaine. 18 additional bales that were spotted by Zephyr Sailors were retrieved from the water near where the go-fast vessel was stopped.

This seizure represents approximately $17-26 million worth of cocaine.

Three males aboard the go-fast were taken into custody and are awaiting transfer to the USCG.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet support United States Southern Command's (USSOUTHCOM) joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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