Coast Guard seizes over 3 tons of cocaine

Coast Guard seizes over 3 tons of cocaine

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell seized 6,700 pounds of cocaine and detained five suspected smugglers on July 6, 2005 about 50 miles south of Cayos de Albuquerque, Colombia.

The Campbell, on routine patrol in the Caribbean Sea spotted someone aboard the 65-foot Honduran fishing vessel Ocean Mistery dumping bales into the water. One of the bales was recovered by Campbell crewmen and tested positive for cocaine. The Campbell directed the Ocean Mistery to stop.

The captain of the Ocean Mistery did not comply with the order to stop his vessel. The Campbell pursued the Ocean Mistery for more than an hour, attempted to contact over VHF radio, and eventually fired warning shots from their .50-caliber machine gun.

The Ocean Mistery's captain complied after the warning shots and a law enforcement team from the Campbell boarded and took control of the vessel and crew without incident.

The contraband and five suspected smugglers will be turned over to law enforcement and Department of Justice officials for prosecution. The Ocean Mistery was turned over to the Honduran government.

"This illustrates the value of a Coast Guard presence in deep water," said Cmdr. Matthew von Ruden, Campbell's commanding officer. "The Campbell's crew prevented more than three tons of cocaine valued at $220 million from reaching our streets."

On a typical day, the Coast Guard seizes $9.6 million worth of illegal drugs.

Campbell is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter based in Kittery, Maine.

Coast Guard crew memebers transporting bales of cocaine

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