Operation ‘HITRON’ nets 16-ton haul of seized cocaine worth $420 million for U.S. Coast Guard after a massive drug operation in the eastern Pacific
Coast Guard Cutter James delivers seized coke to Port Everglades on Tuesday seized from smugglers in 26 day operation
Illicit cargo seized in international waters off Central and South American shores
Four USCG ships and one Canadian vessel took part in the interdictions
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter James brought in a haul of 16 tons of seized cocaine worth $420 million wholesale to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, Tuesday morning
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter James delivered 16 tons of seized cocaine worth $420 million wholesale to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday morning.
The illicit cargo was seized in 17 separate raids on smugglers in international waters of the eastern Pacific off Central and South America shores. U.S. and Canadian coastal defense vessels cooperated in the interdictions.
The seizure mission, conducted over 26 days, was code-named operation ‘HITRON,’ for helicopter, interception, and tactical squadron.
‘With this ship, we’re capable of owning the night,’ cutter James captain Mark J. Fedor told reporters at a dockside press conference Tuesday morning via Twitter.
The USCG cutter James [photo] and its helicopter squad conducted five of the 17 seizures, bringing in a total 5.2 tons of cocaine
Cutter James captain Mark J. Fedor [photo], addressing reporters at a dockside press conference Tuesday morning said ‘With this ship, we’re capable of owning the night’
Four American vessels and one Canadian ship took part in the operations that led to the massive seizures.
The cutter James and the agency’s helicopter interdiction squad were responsible for five seizures, hauling in an estimated 5.19 tons of cocaine: “With this ship, we’re capable of owning the night,” said the James’ Captain Mark Fedor.
Capt. Fedor said the technological advances on the ship, along with the men and women who work in the dark and dangerous conditions, make them a force to be reckoned with at sea.
The Mohawk raided seven ships, netting 5.8 tons of blow, and the Tampa seized three tons from three interdictions.
Cutting edge: The cutter James’ helicopter interdiction aircraft ‘The Outlaw’ shown, reportedly, averages about 12 interdictions a month
The cutter Sherman was responsible for one case, seizing about a ton of the illegal white stuff.
The HMCS Saskatoon, which carried a Coast Guard interdiction team, also had one case and seized an estimated one ton of cocaine.
Fedor said most of the missions to seize the drugs do not involve violence but, on occasion, warning shots are fired or shots are fired to disable a boat’s engine.
‘Our persistent maritime presence in drug trafficking zones from cutters like James enables us to interdict bulk quantities of drugs at sea, preventing criminal networks’ illicit cargoes from reaching the shores of Central America, and land routes into the United States,’ Coast Guard Vice Admiral Karl Schultz told CBS Miami.
In December, Coast Guard forces brought in 26 tons of seized cocaine to Port Everglades. The cutter Hamilton was covered in pallets of the drugs in that case, which had to be unloaded with a crane.