After six weeks at sea, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett docked at the naval base in San Diego Thursday and the crew unloaded the fruits of their labor: More than 13 tons of cocaine.
The drugs were seized from vessels during 21 separate interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from mid-November 2016 through January 2017.
“Criminal and terrorist networks operating in the region, often with direct nexus to the United States, pose a direct threat to citizen safety in the Nation and throughout the Western Hemisphere,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Many of these networked groups use maritime means to exploit widespread corruption, underfunded government security efforts, and the region’s role as a global transit zone for illicit movements of people, drugs, and contraband.”
In the Eastern Pacific, last year alone the Coast Guard seized over 416,600 pounds of cocaine and took 585 suspected smugglers into custody.