Coast Guard Cutter Returns After $350 Million Cocaine Seizure
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Coast Guard cutter returns home to Astoria on Tuesday after seizing $350 million worth of cocaine.
The Cutter Steadfast spent 56 days patrolling the eastern Pacific Ocean. During their expedition, the crew of the Steadfast arrested 5 vessels suspected of smuggling.
From these stops alone, the crew recovered more than 23,000 pounds of cocaine estimated at approximately $311 million.
“It was a huge achievement for this crew and they are happy to have done it,” said Master Trevor Lilburn. “This is a very large amount of drugs and the Coast Guard is thrilled to have them off the streets.”
On the way home, Cutter Robert Ward added another 3,000 pounds of cocaine to the Steadfast’s transport, bringing the total to 26,000 pounds worth around $350 million.
“It was 26,000 pounds of cocaine that will not reach the main streets of the United States,” said Rear Admiral Peter Gautier, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District. “It also gives us the opportunity to ensure that we can continue to fight the transnational criminal organizations that transport this cocaine deep into the Pacific every day.”
This seizure is the largest by this type of cutter on a single deployment in Coast Guard history.
“There are few closer relationships than those that exist between the crew of a ship on a dangerous and important mission,” said Commanding Officer Dan Ursino, commanding officer of the Steadfast. “The crew of Steadfast worked as an outstanding and dedicated team with a strong common goal – to protect their nation from the deadly and destructive effects of illegal drugs.”