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Sunday, July 21st, 2024

Coast Guard ports in San Diego with roughly $468M of seized cocaine

© U.S. Coast Guard

Following eight separate suspected drug smuggling interdictions off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America in February and March, the Coast Guard Cutter Munro docked in San Diego this week with a haul of 33,768 pounds of cocaine.

The estimated value of those drugs came to $468 million.

“The crew put in an incredible amount of work over very long hours, and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Capt. Rula Deisher, commanding officer of the Munro, said. “Their dedication and grit goes to show that Munro is one of the best national security cutters in the fleet, and we are committed to keeping the country safe by stopping illegal drugs before they hit the street. There isn’t a better crew to serve with and I’m honored to have spent my final patrol with them.”

The bulk of the Munro’s seizures occurred in March, and the largest at one time took place on March 17, when it captured 3,562 kilograms (or 7,852 pounds) worth of cocaine.

Munro is a Legend Class National Security Cutter, with a home port in Alameda, Calif. It is typically deployed throughout the Pacific Rim, and roams from San Diego to Mexico, Panama, Japan, and more. As part of the Coast Guard’s operations, it can work with the Navy, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), along with allied and international partner agencies, to pursue counter-narcotics efforts.

“I am extremely proud of this crew and their dedication to disrupting organized crime in the Eastern Pacific,” Rear Admiral Andrew Sugimoto, commander of Coast Guard District 11, said. “The effort put in while interdicting more than 33,000 lbs of cocaine in a few weeks’ time is unparalleled. We will continue our commitment to stopping these criminals and the vast amounts of drugs they attempt to bring into our country.”

District 11 encompasses the Eastern Pacific Ocean, so it leads the law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations therein. Actual boardings are handled by members of the U.S. Coast Guard, like those on the Munro.