The United States Coast Guard says it has seized nearly 970 pounds of cocaine and 550 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated US$13.5 million in the Caribbean Sea.
It said the drugs were seized off the coasts of Jamaica, Haiti and Colombia, and represented three separate cases involving suspected drug-smuggling vessels.
The US Coast Guard said the cutter Raymond Evans was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 550 pounds of marijuana and that the cutter Spencer was involved in the seizure of 970 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Colombia.
“This was our first deployment outside of the Florida Straits in 18 months, and I’m extremely proud of my crew for the work they did over the past few weeks to make this patrol successful,” said Lt Patrick Frost, commanding officer of the cutter Raymond Evans.
“It was exciting to exercise the capabilities of the fast response cutter in the Caribbean counter-drug narcotics mission, and we’re honoured to have played a role in the first drug interdiction for Raymond Evans,” he added.
The US Coast Guard said the interdiction completed by the cutter Raymond Evans crew was “part of a recent inter-agency operation to increase intelligence and targeting capabilities in order to disrupt criminal organisations in the Caribbean Sea and secure approaches to the US along the southern border”.
The cutter Raymond Evans crew collaborated with US Department of Homeland Security components to interdict suspected drug smugglers off the coast of Jamaica, the US Coast Guard said.