Virgin Islands Free Press

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

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable seized cocaine in three cases within one week. Working jointly with 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, Dependable's law enforcement teams boarded vessels transporting illicit cargo; likely bound for the United States. (Coast Guard photo)



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 http://www.uscg.mil/lantarea/cgcdependable

 

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