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Coast Guard offloads 7 tons of cocaine seized during Pacific Ocean operation

Posted at 10:40 AM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 15:47:44-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - More than 7 tons of cocaine seized in international waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean from February to late March was offloaded in San Diego Friday by the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche.

The drugs were seized from six suspected smuggling vessels found off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by the Coast Guard cutters Waesche, Active and Steadfast, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy," according to the statement. "During at-sea interdictions in international waters, 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 Waesche, which is homeported in Alameda, California, was responsible for stopping two vessels, while the Active, homeported in Port Angeles, Washington, and the Steadfast, homeported in Astoria, Oregon, also stopped two vessels each.