Coast Guard seizes more than 18 tons of cocaine worth more than $500 million

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Coast Guard crew seized more than 18 tons of cocaine that had a total street value of about $500 million, according to a U.S. Coast Guard press release.

The drugs were intercepted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters and taken in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The cocaine is from 15 separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:

  • The cutter James was responsible for nine cases seizing an estimated 19,288 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Bear (WMEC-901) was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 44 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL-752) was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 440 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618) was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,148 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless (WMEC-624) was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 2,050 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC-625) was responsible for two cases seizing an estimated 3,100 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer (WMEC-905) was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 4,497 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Campbell (WMEC-909) was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 5,441 pounds of cocaine.

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 its Western Hemisphere Strategy.

The cutter bear is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Stratton is a 418-foot legend-class cutter homeported in Alameda, California.

The cutter Active is a 210-foot reliance-class cutter homeported in Port Angeles, Washington. The cutter Dauntless is a 210-foot reliance-class cutter homeported in Pensacola, Florida.

The cutter Venturous is a 210-foot reliance-class cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. The cutter James is a 418-foot legend-class cutter homeported in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The cutter Campbell is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine.