MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter James’ crew offloaded approximately 59,700 pounds of cocaine and 1,430 pounds of marijuana worth more than $1.4 billion, Thursday, at Port Everglades, which is the largest offload in Coast Guard history.
The Coast Guard’s strong international relationships, with key partners like Canada and the Netherlands, along with our specialized capabilities and unmatched authorities, allow for a unity of effort to disrupt transnational crime organizations, which threaten America and our partner nations.
“Today’s offload is a result of our combined efforts of our inter-agency partners and a dedicated international coalition,” said Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, Commander Atlantic Area. “The Canadian government and Canadian Defence Forces brings an incredible capability in defeating transnational organized crime, and I’m grateful to HMCS Shawinigan to showcase Canada’s commitment. Together we will disrupt, defeat and degrade transnational organized crime. We will strengthen our efforts and continue to build collaboration and capability.”
“Canada and America are committed to expanding cooperation on defending North America against illicit trafficking and transnational crime and working together within our alliances,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Ormsby, Canadian Defence Attache. “We know that no nation can do it alone, and we know that we are stronger together. The kind of cooperation that we see on the pier today is one of the thousands of impressive examples of cooperation every day.”
The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Sea including contraband seized and recovered during 27 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by 10 American, Dutch and Canadian ships:
- Coast Guard Cutter James
- Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk
- Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless
- Coast Guard Cutter Thetis
- Coast Guard Cutter Confidence
- USS Wichita
- USS Sioux City
- USS Billings
- HNLMS Holland
- HMCS Shawinigan
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, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.
During at-sea interdictions, a suspect vessel is initially detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District, headquartered in Alameda, California, and the law enforcement phase of operations in the Caribbean is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 7th District, headquartered in Miami. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The cutter James is a 418-foot national security cutter home ported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Key West, Florida. The cutter Dauntless is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Pensacola, Florida. The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida. The cutter Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida. The USS Wichita is a 378-foot freedom-class littoral combat ship homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Florida. The USS Sioux City is a 378-foot Freedom-class littoral combat ship homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Florida. The USS Billings is a 378-foot Freedom-class littoral combat ship homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Florida. The Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS Holland is a 356-foot Holland-class offshore patrol vessel homeported in Den Helder, Netherlands. The HMCS Shawinigan is a 181-foot Kingston-class coastal defence vessel homeported in Halifax, Canada.