Seized drugs to offload a Mayport
On Tuesday morning, millions of dollars worth of seized cocaine and marijuana will offload at Mayport.
The drugs were on their way to the US. Crews aboard the USS Nicholas confiscated them, as part of a counter-drug and crime operation in Central and South America.
For the last six months, US Coast Guard, Navy and Customs and Border Patrol crews have worked to confiscate 7,500 pounds of cocaine and 320 pounds of marijuana on their way to the United States.
“It was a 175 day deployment down to South America off the coast of Panama and Colombia,” Lt. Commander Corey Barker said. “During that time they were able to make 6 interdictions, which is responsible for this massive amount of drugs coming back to Mayport.”
The USS Nicholas will pull into Mayport later this morning to offload the drugs, valued at $93 million in wholesale costs, but street value is triple that.
“We’ve been doing this a long time and any time we can keep drugs off the streets of the United States, that’s a win for the Coast Guard, for the Navy, win for the governments, for the people of the country,” Lt. Scott Carr with the Public Affairs Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group said.
The risky and dangerous operations in foreign waters are a collective effort. Navy and Customs and Border Protection find the boats. Then the Coast Guard’s Law Enforcement Detachment Team perform the tactical boardings of the ships to seize the drugs.
“Once they identify the target that needs to be boarded, that Navy ship actually hoists up a Coast Guard flag and switches their tactical control from the Navy to the United States Coast Guard so they can conduct law enforcement,” Lt. Carr said.
The helicopter crew that assisted in the seizures is from Jacksonville and the patrol planes that detected the drug boats are based at Cecil Field.
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