Bales of illegal drugs, worth an estimated $475 million, are offloaded onto pallets, Sept. 15, 2022, at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, Florida. The illegal narcotics were offloaded by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912). (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann)

Coast Guard Offloads $475 Million In Illegal Narcotics In Miami

Editorial
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September 17, 2022

MIAMI — The crew of the USCGC Legare (WMEC 912) offloaded approximately 24,700 pounds of cocaine and 3,892 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $475 million, Thursday at Base Miami Beach.

The drugs were interdicted in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Eastern Pacific Ocean by crews from:

“I am proud of the crew’s continued devotion to duty that made this offload possible,” said Cdr. Jeremy M. Greenwood, commanding officer of Legare. “Through the coordinated efforts of the Legare, the LEDETs, HNLMS Groningen, CGC James, and the USS Billings crews, we significantly contributed to the counter-drug mission and the dismantling of transnational criminal organizations. The drugs seized through this coordinated effort will result in significantly fewer drug-related overdoses.”

Bales of illegal narcotics were offloaded by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912).
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann)
Bales of illegal narcotics were offloaded by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912).
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann)
Bales of illegal narcotics were offloaded by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912).
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann)
Bales of illegal narcotics were offloaded by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare (WMEC 912).
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann)

The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean, and the transnational criminal organizations they are associated with, requires a unity of effort in all phases; from detection and monitoring to interdiction and apprehension, and on to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.

Related Article: Drug War At Sea Is Getting BIG

Detecting and interdicting illegal drug traffickers on the high seas involves significant interagency and international coordination. The Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida conducts detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs. Maritime interdiction of illicit smuggling activity in the Caribbean Sea is coordinated by the Seventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Miami. The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard also coordinates maritime interdiction of illicit smuggling activity with deployed Royal Netherlands Navy ships and their embarked Dutch Fleet Marine Corps squadrons and U.S. Coast Guard LEDETs in the Eastern Caribbean Sea near the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Maritime interdiction of illicit smuggling activity in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is coordinated by the Eleventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The U.S. Navy and allied foreign ships conduct law enforcement missions under the authority of embarked Coast Guard LEDETs from Tactical Law Enforcement Teams based in Miami and San Diego. 

The Legare is a 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter stationed in Portsmouth, Virginia. Legare’s missions include Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Protection of Living Marine Resources, Homeland Security and Defense Operations, international training, and humanitarian operations. Legare patrols the offshore waters from Maine to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Pacific, and the Caribbean.

-USCG-

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