40 million in cocaine seized by coast guardPosted on December 1, 2013
Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous offloaded approximately $40 million estimated wholesale value of cocaine.
The drugs are the results of two interdictions carried out as part of Operation Martillo.
During a patrol on November 2, a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment team (LEDET) aboard the Royal Dutch Navy’s HNLMS Amsterdam detected a go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea. After observing the suspected smugglers jettison suspicious packages the LEDET deployed a boatcrew to investigate.
Upon arriving on scene, the boatcrew recovered 19 packages which later tested positive for cocaine.
During the same patrol, the Coast Guard LEDET aboard the HNLMS Amsterdam detected another go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea. The LEDET noticed the suspected smugglers on the go-fast jettison several packages during their attempt to flee from law enforcement. After employing warning signals, the HNLMS Amsterdam's embarked helicopter crew was able to shoot a disabling round into the engine, causing the go-fast to stop.
The LEDET conducted a boarding on the suspect vessel and recovered 22 packages that later tested positive for cocaine. The three suspected smugglers were transferred to the HNLMS Amsterdam along with the contraband recovered from the go-fast and water.
These interdictions were carried out as part of Operation Martillo, which is one component in the United States government’s whole-of-government approach to countering the use of the Central American littorals as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons, and cash. Operation Martillo is an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies to counter illicit trafficking.