The U.S. Coast Guard cutter James delivered 16 tons of seized cocaine worth $420 million wholesale to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday morning, reports the Daily Mail.
The cargo was gotten by the coast guard through 17 separate raids in international waters on gangs of smugglers, all located around the eastern Pacific off Central and South America shores. The Canadian guard was able to help with some of the raids.
The operation was code-named operation ‘HITRON,’ and took place over the course of 26 days. The coast guard used all of its resources; boats, helicopters, and planes were all necessary to attack these smuggling rings.
The Daily Mail has more:
Now that’s what you call the deadliest catch.
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter James delivered 16 tons of seized cocaine worth $420 million wholesale to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday morning.
The illicit cargo was seized in 17 separate raids on smugglers in international waters of the eastern Pacific off Central and South America shores. U.S. and Canadian coastal defense vessels cooperated in the interdictions.
The seizure mission, conducted over 26 days, was code-named operation ‘HITRON,’ for helicopter, interception, and tactical squadron.
‘With this ship, we’re capable of owning the night,’ cutter James captain Mark J. Fedor told reporters at a dockside press conference Tuesday morning in remarks relayed on Twitter.
Captain Keith Gavin, who oversees the helicopter squadron, said they average about 12 interdictions a month.
‘As I like to say, unfortunately, business is good for us. And I wish it wasn’t,’ said Gavin according to CBS Miami.
Four American vessels and one Canadian ship took part in the operations that led to the massive seizures.
The cutter James and its helicopter squad conducted five seizures totaling 5.2 tons of cocaine.
The Mohawk raided seven ships, netting 5.8 tons of blow, and the Tampa seized three tons from three interdictions.
The cutter Sherman and the HMCS Saskatoon, carrying a USCG interdiction team, each had one case and seized about a ton each.
‘Our persistent maritime presence in drug trafficking zones from cutters like James enables us to interdict bulk quantities of drugs at sea, preventing criminal networks’ illicit cargoes from reaching the shores of Central America, and land routes into the United States,’ Coast Guard Vice Admiral Karl Schultz told CBS Miami.
In December, Coast Guard forces brought in 26 tons of seized cocaine to Port Everglades. The cutter Hamilton was covered in pallets of the drugs in that case, which had to be unloaded with a crane.