US Coast Guard offloads over $158 million in cocaine and marijuana in San Diego


(SAN DIEGO) — The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded over $158 million in illegal drugs in San Diego on Monday stemming from a drug-bust operation, officials said in a news release.

More than 11,600 pounds of cocaine and 5,500 pounds of marijuana were confiscated during counternarcotics patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean between May and June, according to USCG.

“The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Vigilant, Mohawk and Steadfast worked diligently to combat transnational organized crime, disrupt drug flow and prevent a significant amount of drugs from reaching the U.S.,” Rear Adm. Andrew Sugimoto, commander, Coast Guard Eleventh District, said in a statement. “Their unwavering commitment while interdicting drug smugglers at sea is not only commended, but their continued efforts are unmatched.”

Multiple agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, helped with the operation, USCG said.

The Mexican Navy also contributed to operation efforts, according to officials.

“Nothing is guaranteed when a Coast Guard crew says ‘goodbye’ to loved ones and embarks on a multi-month patrol,” Cmdr. Brock Eckel, commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s Steadfast said in a statement. “However, our team worked incredibly hard, day-and-night, to stop three smuggling vessels, preventing more than five tons of illicit narcotics from reaching American soil. I am honored to serve with the amazing Steadfast crew and share in their success.”

Last month in Miami, USCG offloaded more 14,000 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $186 million in nine individual cases in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the USCG said in a news release. The U.S. Coast Guard said that a dozen smugglers were arrested and face prosecution by the Justice Department in federal courts.

ABC News’ Jon Haworth and Victoria Arancio contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *