“Coast Guard Cutter James conducts largest illegal narcotic offload in Coast Guard history worth more than $1.4 billion at Port Everglades” –News Release

The Coast Guard Cutter Joshua James moored during its commissioning ceremony at Base Boston, Aug. 8, 2015. The Cutter Joshua James is a 418-foot National Security Cutter that will be homeported in Charleston, S.C. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

Below is a news release from District Seven. I don’t normally pass these along, but this one is a bit unusual, in the quantity of the offload and the ships involved in the 27 seizures or recoveries.

Almost 30 tons of Cocaine, plus a bit of Marijuana, and it came from the usual locations, “international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Sea.

All the ships involved here came from the Atlantic side. All four WMECs and the three LCS involved were all based in Florida. This reminds us that, using the Panama Canal, the Eastern Pacific drug transit zones are actually closer to Florida than to California.

It may be significant that the three Navy ships are all Freedom class LCS, which up until now seem to have had more than their share of problems, yet they appear to have succeeded here. On the other hand it may be that this is the least demanding type of deployment they can do.

Nice to see recognition for our Dutch and Canadian friends as well. The Canadian ship is actually smaller than a 210. The Dutch ship is in many ways similar to the Offshore Patrol Cutter, only slightly smaller with a much smaller crew.

united states coast guard 
Multimedia Release U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast

Coast Guard Cutter James conducts largest illegal narcotic offload in Coast Guard history worth more than $1.4 billion at Port Everglades
234      Editor’s Note: Due to Defense Visual Information Distribution Service experiencing technical difficulties, we are unable to provide a full-resolution link to our images.

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 (I added the link for this one–Chuck)
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. For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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