USCG Interdicts Almost 3,000 Pounds of Cocaine in Western Caribbean Sea

The crew of the USCG Cutter Diligence, above and below, intercepted a fishing vessel in the Eastern Caribbean Sea carrying about $1.5 million worth of cocaine.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence interdicted 2,927 pounds of cocaine during two separate cases while patrolling the Caribbean Sea.

While conducting a patrol, Diligence crewmembers located a fishing vessel in the Eastern Caribbean Sea on Friday, September 16. Diligence crewmembers made a plain-view discovery and retrieved 54 individually wrapped packages that tested positive for cocaine. The cocaine weighed 119 pounds and has an estimated street value of $1.5 million.

The contraband and five detainees were transferred to the District of U.S. Virgin Islands.

On September 3, Diligence crewmembers located a 35-foot fishing vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea. The Diligence crew launched its smallboat to stop the vessel in order for Diligence’s boarding team to conduct a Right of Visit boarding in accordance with international law.

The boarding team made a plain-view discovery of suspicious packages testing positive for cocaine.

The Diligence crew was able to detain four suspected smugglers aboard the vessel and prevent the trafficking of 2,808 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $34 million.

The crew of Diligence intercepted a second vessel carrying about $34M worth of cocaine.

“These interdictions were conducted during joint operations with Dutch and French authorities and highlight the importance and effectiveness of international partnerships as we work to stem the flow of illegal narcotics,” said USCG Cmdr. Douglas Goodwin, Diligence’s commanding officer.  “Additionally, the professionalism and proficiency of Diligence’s crew were critical to our success in interdicting these vessels.”

The detainees were transferred to federal law enforcement officials at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The contraband was offloaded at USCG Sector Key West, Florida. The Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington, N.C.