The Coast Guard increased US and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy.

Namely, the seizure represents 21 separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the US Coast Guard:

  • The cutter 'Forward' was responsible for eight cases seizing an estimated 14,207 pounds of cocaine.
  • The 'Hamilton' was responsible for five cases, seizing an estimated 9,460 pounds of cocaine.
  • The 'Campbell' was responsible for four cases, seizing an estimated 6,153 pounds of cocaine.
  • The 'Alert' was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 5,736 pounds of cocaine.
  • The 'Venturous' was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,565 pounds of cocaine.
  • The 'Confidence' was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 553 pounds of cocaine.

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

The US Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by US Coast Guardsmen. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific are conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District headquartered in Alameda, California.

The interdiction and disruption of more than 17 tons of cocaine is a result of the collaboration and coordination of multiple Coast Guard and interagency assets to address the complex maritime challenge of transnational criminal organizations,

...said Cmdr. Michael Sharp, commanding officer of the cutter Forward.