U.S. Coast Guard intercepts vessel with $16-million worth of Cocaine on board
It was the Scarface kind of haul for the U.S. Coast Guard during a 72-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane, (a 270-foot medium endurance cutter), worked with other U.S. and foreign military assets including the Coast Guard 7th District, USS Wichita and Joint Interagency Task Force South to conduct their law enforcement mission and along the way intercepted a vessel that was carrying about 882 pounds of suspected cocaine which has an estimated street value of $16-million, the U.S. Coast Guard announced on Tuesday.
The Harriet Lane Crew, now back home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire ran tactical control for Wichita's helicopter, "which employed airborne use of force executed by a trained Coast Guard crew member."
Coast Guard crews and other members of the mission were able to help disable the vessel transferring suspected illegal narcotics and drug smugglers.
Crew also worked with the Dutch Navy "aboard HNLMS Holland and facilitated the at-sea interdiction of a suspected drug smuggling vessel by the French frigate Ventôse."
The Harriet Lane crew then helped lead a tow alongside the USS Wichita, taking the 378-foot littoral combat ship.
"During the evolution both vessels exchanged crew members of various rates and rank to provide exposure and promote professional development. This exercise provided invaluable training for both crews and strengthened the special relationships amongst the seagoing services," according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I am tremendously humbled to have completed my first patrol aboard Harriet Lane with this fine crew of maritime professionals,” U.S. Coast Guard Commander Ben Goff, commanding officer of the Harriet Lane, said in a statement. “Throughout, we showcased a diversity of talent unique to the world’s best Coast Guard. I am extremely proud of the crew for their unwavering flexibility and selfless service amidst a variety of scheduling changes and mission challenges. Likewise, it was a true privilege to conduct operations and training with our US, Dutch, and French navy partners.”