Photos: US Coast Guard Offloads $37M in Cocaine in San Diego

More than 2,000 pounds of cocaine was seized during this drug bust

U.S. Coast Guard

A U.S. Coast Guard crew offloaded a whopping $37 million worth of cocaine in San Diego this week – drugs seized in zones of the Eastern Pacific Ocean notorious for narcotics trafficking activity.

The haul included more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine, brought onto dry land in black bales.

U.S. Coast Guard
Bales of cocaine are shown aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618).

The U.S. Coast Guard said the drug bust was part of a counter-narcotics operation spearheaded by U.S. Southern Command in the Western Hemisphere on April 1 meant to “disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives.”

It was led by the crew aboard Active, a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter commissioned in 1966 and homeported in Port Angeles, Washington.

The operation against transnational organized narcotics crime was also helped along by other U.S. agencies including the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, the U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The USCG said allied and international partner agencies helped too, as those groups play a big role in counter-drug operations.

U.S. Coast Guard
Members of the Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618) boarding team inspect a suspected smuggling vessel containing more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean in May 2020.

 “The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation,” the agency said in a press release.

USCG Cmdr. James O'Mara, commanding officer of Active, said his crew diverted 500 miles to complete this mission.

“No captain could ask or expect more from a crew, especially given all the adversity overcome during this patrol,” said O’Mara. “Though I know if more were required, this crew would rally and answer the call, the way they always do.”

Active’s crew routinely operate from the Straits of Juan de Fuca down to the waters off Central America, the USCG said. In addition to drug operations, Active also aids in search and rescue and homeland security.

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