Skip to main content

Coast Guard, Fed Operation Results In Massive Cocaine Seizure

Photo caption: The deck of the USCGC Boutwell is pictured with 28,000 pounds of cocaine that...

Photo by Guillermo Sevilla

The deck of the USCGC Boutwell is pictured with 28,000 pounds of cocaine that was seized during an operation, April 16, 2015.

Audio

Federal officials have seized more than 56,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific only six months into the new year.

Federal officials have seized more than 56,000 pounds of cocaine in only six months into the new year.

The U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and federal law enforcement agencies seized the cocaine in a record-breaking operation. The coalition seized 53,000 pounds of cocaine in 2014.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said big busts like these have a huge impact on the international war on drugs.

“The seizures of these kinds of record-breaking amounts of cocaine means there are tens of thousands of pounds that aren’t making their way to the street,” Duffy said. "There are literally billions of dollars that are not making their way into cartel coffers."

Photo caption: USCGC Boutwell crewmembers are pictured maneuvering the ship's interceptor bo...

Photo credit: US Coast Guard

USCGC Boutwell crewmembers are pictured maneuvering the ship's interceptor boat while patrolling in early March 2015.

In one of the seizures, authorities witnessed a small freighter 140 miles north of Costa Rica tossing cargo overboard. They fished out the cargo to find more than 11,000 pounds of cocaine, authorities said.

Edward Westfall, captain of USCGC Boutwell, which was a part of the operation, said his crew was responsible for the success.

“Searching for a floating bail of cocaine on a dark night in the ocean from a small boat is a daunting task and they do that successfully, so its really a testimony to them," Westfall said.

Coast Guard, Fed Operation Results In Massive Cocaine Seizure

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.