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Coast Guard Nabs 15 Drug Smugglers and $10.1 Worth Of Cocaine In The Caribbean Sea


MIAMI — The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dependable seized over $10 million worth of cocaine and marijuana within one week.

The Dependable, a 210-foot patrol boat that conducts maritime safety and security, was used to conduct three international and inter-agency narcotics operations over the span of a week. Within that week alone, 76 crew members seized approximately 325 kilograms of cocaine, 600 pounds of marijuana and apprehended 15 suspected drug smugglers.

The drugs seized represent a total wholesale value of at least $10.1 million.

The U.S. Coast Guard worked alongside the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, other U.S. law enforcement officials, Royal Bahamian Defense Force, Royal Bahamian Police Force and a Bahamian Drug Enforcement Unit.

The Dependable’s law enforcement teams were able to seize the narcotics and apprehend suspects by boarding vessels transporting illicit cargo. These ships were likely bound for the United States, they said.

Lt. Ken Franklin, the operations officer for the Dependable, explained why the mission was a success. “This is a great example of how the Coast Guard collaborates across multiple agencies to counter the efforts of drug trafficking organizations,” he said. “This past week’s success was the culmination of ongoing cooperative efforts across international borders and organizational boundaries.”

In three separate international and inter-agency counter narcotics operations, in the past week alone, resulted in the seizure of the drugs worth at least $10.1 million. Fifteen people were arrested for smuggling in the Caribbean Sea.

The operations that led to the seizures were carried out by the U.S. Coast Guard, in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), other U.S. law enforcement officials, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Royal Bahamas Police Force and a Bahamian Drug Enforcement Unit.

“This is a great example of how the Coast Guard collaborates across multiple agencies to counter the efforts of drug trafficking organizations,” Franklin said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the vessels carrying the illicit cargo were likely headed to the United States.

To learn more about the Dependable, visit


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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