Tuesday, September 26, 2017

USCG Drug Interdiction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Since June, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has intercepted seven low-profile drug smuggling vessels that have carried more than 22,850 pounds of cocaine worth over $306 million.

Low-profile vessels are designed for smuggling. Often painted to blend with the water, they ride low and fast eliciting little radar notice.

In one instance, Coast Guardsmen from cutter Steadfast from Astoria, Oregon, seized over 6,000 pounds of cocaine from the vessel and arrested four suspected smugglers from a low-profile vessel several hundred miles off the Central American coast.

“Every successful interagency interdiction, investigation, and prosecution is a counterattack against the criminal networks who flood our borders with drugs every day,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area. “The information gleaned from these Coast Guard interdictions provides insight into the pathways of illicit trafficking and contribute to the arrest and extradition of high-level drug cartel kingpins and follow on interdictions.”