The hectic world of law enforcement

Published on February 11th, 2020

It’s always a good day when we take a break at Scuttlebutt HQ and get on the water from our base in San Diego, CA, but beyond the never-changing Mediterranean climate and easy breezes is a hectic world of law enforcement. Here’s a report we received from the US Coast Guard:

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) offloaded nearly 20,000 pounds of cocaine on February 10 in San Diego, CA. The drug bails, seized from known drug-transit zones of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, were worth approximately $338 million.

Eight interdictions were made between mid-November and mid-January by the joint efforts of the following four separate Coast Guard cutter crews:

• Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC 910) was responsible for two case seizing 6,830 pounds
• Coast Guard Cutter Resolute (WMEC 620) was responsible for one case seizing 1,951 pounds
• Coast Guard Cutter Tampa (WMEC 902) was responsible for two cases seizing 4,270 pounds
• Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) was responsible for three cases seizing 6,680 pounds

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Panama Express Strike Force, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

“By disrupting the profits of these cartels, we are reducing their effectiveness and helping our partner nations maintain their stability,” said Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. “These efforts also provide invaluable information to us that we can then use to stop these drugs further up the supply chain before they begin these dangerous routes at sea.”

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, CA. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The men and women of the United States Coast Guard have made America a safer place to live,” said David King, the director for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HITDA) program. “This cocaine will never make it into our homes, schools and communities to fuel violent crime, addiction and death.”

The Thetis is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, FL. The Resolute is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, FL. The Tampa is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, VA. The Munro is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Alameda, CA.

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