SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — U.S. Coast Guard officials Wednesday offloaded thousands of pounds of cocaine in San Diego after it was seized in international waters.
The narcotics seizures occurred in four separate incidents off the coasts of Mexico, Central, and South America between July and early October.
- Alert (WMEC-630): Two cases seizing about 4,000 pounds of cocaine;
- Robert Ward (WPC-1130): One case seizing about 1,500 pounds of cocaine; and
- Seneca (WMEC-906): One case seizing about 1,400 pounds of cocaine.
The narcotics have a street value of more than $92 million, according to the Coast Guard.
"I am extremely proud of this crew for doing their part to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets," said Cmdr. Tyson Scofield, Alert’s commanding officer. "The Eastern Pacific Ocean is a challenging environment, especially on a ship that is in her 50th year of service, yet this crew persevered to disrupt the illegal flow of narcotics that fuels instability in Central and South America."
The Coast Guard has increased its presence in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basic as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. The area of water is known as a drug transit zone for Central and South America.
During the confrontations in international waters, the suspected vessel is initially located and tracked by an allied, military, or law enforcement personnel. The Coast Guard, however, handles the actual boarding of suspect vessels.