A local U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crew successfully intercepted a drug smuggling vessel and seized 1,300-pounds of cocaine, USCG officials announced Friday.
According to the public affairs office of the 11th Coast Guard District, the crew aboard the USCG Cutter Boutwell – which is homeported in San Diego – successfully stopped a drug smuggling vessel in international waters about 50 miles off the coast of Guatemala on Sept. 16.
The cutter crew was alerted when a Navy maritime patrol aircraft detected the suspicious vessel in the water.
As Boutwell honed in on the vessel to investigate, pursuit boats launched from the cutter.
USCG officials said the suspected smuggling crew aboard the vessel attempted to jettison their contraband overboard and flee, but one of Boutwell’s pursuit boat crews quickly recovered the cargo.
The cargo consisted of approximately 1,300-pounds of cocaine.
Meanwhile, a second boat crew was able to pursue and stop the suspected smugglers’ vessel, taking five suspected drug smugglers into custody.
USCG officials said this interception by Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell marks the 20th major drug seizure for the 45-year-old high-endurance cutter.
In the past year, Boutwell’s crews have seized approximately 4,500-pounds of drugs.