Members of the United States Armed Forces dropped off thousands of pounds of seized cannabis and cocaine in San Diego this week.
The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday announced that it, along with Navy personnel, had offloaded 9,000 pounds of cannabis and 11,400 pounds of cocaine.
The offload stems from Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 407 (LEDET 407) operations in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean between October and December.
LEDET 407 in the USS Gabrielle Gifford, responsible for five cases, seized 10,570 pounds of cocaine and 4,100 pounds of cannabis.
LEDET 407 is part of the Tactical Law Enforcement Team-South in Miami.
The Seneca (WMEC-906) crew seized 350 pounds of cocaine and the Legare crew seized 53 pounds of cocaine and 3,400 pounds of cannabis.
The Spencer (WMEC-905) crew seized 420 pounds of cocaine and 1,450 pounds of cannabis.
The Legare is homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, and the Spencer and the Seneca are homeported in Boston.
All three ships are 270-foot medium endurance cutters.
“When you are covering a drug-smuggling transit zone the size of the continental United States, every ship makes a huge difference, “said Lieutenant Johnathon Dietrich. “The seamless integration between our Law Enforcement Detachment and the crew of the USS Gabrielle Giffords was a major reason why we were successful in interdicting such a large amount of drugs and prevent them from reaching our streets.”
On April 1, the United States Southern Command stepped-up counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of narcotics.
The Coast Guard, Navy says that fighting drug cartels on the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean sea requires unity of effort.
Multiple agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security coordinated during the effort to combat transnational organized crime, which the Coast Guard says is funded by drug trafficking money.
“The impressive results of the USS Gabrielle Giffords deployment and drug offload represent more than just a local victory of keeping drugs off our streets,” said Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer. “The Coast Guard and the Navy have worked together for years to keep our waters and shores safe from a number of maritime threats, and we are honored to continue that tradition as we look toward the future.”