Portsmouth-based Coast Guard crew offloads $62 million worth of drugs at Florida port

Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 16:04:27-04

MIAMI – The Coast Guard Cutter Bear (WMEC-901) crew offloaded millions of dollars’ worth of drugs at a Florida port Thursday.

The crew offloaded approximately 14,000 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $12.5 million wholesale and 3,660 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $50 million wholesale at Port Everglades.

The drugs were seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and were interdicted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America. They represent five separate, suspected drug-smuggling vessel interdictions by the U.S. Coast Guard:

  • The Coast Guard Cutter Bear was responsible for two cases, seizing approximately 7,900 pounds of marijuana and 300 pounds of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant (WMEC-621) was responsible for one case, seizing approximately 2,700 pounds of cocaine.
  • The USS Tornado (PC-14) with a Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team was responsible for two cases, seizing approximately 6,100 pounds of marijuana and 660 pounds of cocaine.

“I could not be prouder of this crew’s accomplishments, and of the entire interagency and allied team that continue to stand the watch in an effort to stem the efforts of smugglers that seek to destabilize the Western hemisphere while they line their pockets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Dennelly, Executive Officer of Coast Guard Cutter Bear. “It is through successful interdictions, such as the ones we are offloading today, that impact these criminal organizations, regardless of the product they are smuggling. It is certainly a team effort with contributions by our Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations partners, Department of Defense, and other DHS partners that make today’s offload possible.”

Related: Coast Guard Cutter Tampa interdicts $240 million in drugs, returns to Portsmouth 

Cutter Bear is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth. Cutter Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Jacksonville, Florida. The USS Tornado is a 179-foot Cyclone class patrol ship that is also homeported in Jacksonville.