(CMC) — The United States Coast Guard says it has collaborated with partner nations in halting more than 4,000 pounds of cocaine during September, worth almost US$73 million throughout the Caribbean.
The US Coast Guard said these interdictions were “a direct result of the partnerships” with crews aboard Dutch, British and US naval ships with embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment boarding teams, working jointly with the Miami-based US Southern Command and other US Department of Defense agencies “to detect and interdict illegal drugs and stopping the flow of drugs throughout the Caribbean”.
Commander of Seventh Coast Guard District, Rear Adm Eric C Jones, said the Coast Guard law enforcement detachments — or LEDETs — are highly specialised and play a vital role in the fight against illicit drug trafficking in the maritime domain.
“Our LEDETs deploy with the US Navy and Allied navies supporting enhanced counter narcotics operations, bringing broad law enforcement authority critical to successful interdictions throughout the Caribbean Basin,” he added.
The US Coast Guard said its Western Hemisphere Strategy assigns three specific priorities of combatting networks, securing borders and safeguarding commerce.
To achieve success in these priorities, the US Coast Guard said it “continuously strives for close coordination between partnering naval assets as well as its own”.
The US Coast Guard said the fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea “requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions for these 12 interdictions by Attorney’s Offices from the District of Puerto Rico, the Middle District of Florida and the Southern District of Florida”.
The law enforcement phase of operations in the Caribbean Sea is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 7th District, headquartered in Miami, the US Coast Guard said.