MIAMI — The crew of USS Farragut (DDG 99) offloaded approximately 2,314 kilograms of cocaine and 1,986 pounds of marijuana worth a combined $69 million in Port Everglades, Florida Tuesday. The suspected smugglers will face prosecution in federal court by the Department of Justice.
The offloaded drugs were seized from four go-fast smuggling vessel interdictions by the Farragut crew with an embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 406 and Navy Combat Element (CEL) One from the “Jaguars” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Six Zero (HSM-60) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
“We were proud to work with the U.S. Coast Guard on the frontline of the threat that transnational drug trafficking presents to national security,” said Cmdr. Nicholas Gurley, commanding officer of USS Farragut. “Our experienced crew, HSM-60 CEL One and the members of our LEDET were essential to the success of this operation.”
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, along with allied and international partners, cooperate in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific Ocean is coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, based in Key West, and requires a unity of effort in all phases, from detection and monitoring to interdiction and apprehension and finally to criminal prosecution by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the Eleventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is both a military service and the nation’s primary maritime law enforcement agency. For information on how to join the U.S. Coast Guard, visit www.GoCoastGuard.com to learn about active duty and reserve officer and enlisted opportunities. Information on how to apply to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy can be found at www.uscga.edu. For breaking news, follow us on Twitter. For additional information, find us on Facebook and Instagram.