U.S. Coast Guard Offloads $158 Million worth of narcotics in San Diego

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Steadfast offloaded over 11,600 pounds of cocaine and 5,500 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $158 million in San Diego, California on Monday 17, 2023.

The drugs were seized during counter-narcotics patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean between May and July by crews of the Coast Guard cutters Vigilant, Mohawk and Steadfast, in accordance with a statement from the US Coast Guard.

Numerous US agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime.

The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with the Mexican Navy (Semar), contributed to the counter-narcotics operation.

“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.,” said Rear Admiral, Andrew Sugimoto, commander of Coast Guard eleventh district.

“Nothing is guaranteed when a Coast Guard crew says ‘goodbye’ to loved ones and embarks on a multi-month patrol,” said Cmdr. Brock Eckel, commanding officer of the Steadfast. “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.”

The Steadfast is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. During deployments, Steadfast patrols along the western seaboard of the United States, Mexico and North and Central America conducting search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, living marine resource protection, and homeland defense operations.

It’s worth mentioning that the fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. attorneys’ offices in districts across the Unites States.