USCG Cutter Seizes $53.5 Million Worth of Drugs from Vessel

By Karen Robes Meeks

Crew members of the US Coast Guard Cutter James recently confiscated more than 3,100 pounds of cocaine worth $53.5 million after boarding a low-profile go-fast vessel in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central America.

Cutter James was deployed following the initial discovery by a maritime patrol aircraft of a suspicious vessel. Upon boarding, crew members encountered four suspected smugglers and seized a small amount of cocaine. They later found most of the cocaine in a closed off section of the ship, the agency said.

Enforcement of the Eastern Pacific Ocean falls under the jurisdiction of the Alameda-based 11th Coast Guard District and is part of the country’s larger effort against drug smugglers.

By Sarah Spangler