Media Advisory: Coast Guard to offload 14,000 pounds of cocaine in Port Everglades

united states coast guard 

Media Advisory  

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast
Contact: 7th District Public Affairs
Office: 305-415-6683
After Hours: 786-367-7649
7th District online newsroom

Coast Guard to offload 14,000 pounds of cocaine in Port Everglades 

A Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton boarding team interdicts a go fast vessel in international waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean near Central America Feb. 4, 2018.  

Editor’s Note:  Media interested in attending must RSVP with the Coast Guard 7th District Public Affairs duty officer at 786-367-7649. Only credentialed media will be granted access to the event. Media must arrive no later than 7:15 a.m. 

Security:  Be prepared to show government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport, and media credentials at the security checkpoint.

WHO: Commanding officer, and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton

WHAT: Offload approximately 7 tons of cocaine

WHEN: 8 a.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Pier 4, Port Everglades - 1800 SE 20th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316. The seaport can accessed by:   

  1. Main entrance. Take I-595 East straight into the port (I-595 become Eller Drive once inside the Port). I-595 runs east/west with connections to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, U.S.1, I-95, State Road 7 (441), Florida's Turnpike, Sawgrass Expressway and I-75.
  2. North entrance. Take U.S.1 or A1A to 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale and turn south at the streetlight onto Eisenhower Blvd.
  3. US1/Federal Highway entrance. At the intersection of State Road 84 East and U.S.1 (Federal Hwy.), turn east into the seaport.  

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton is scheduled to offload approximately 7 tons of cocaine Tuesday in Port Everglades worth an estimated $190 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were interdicted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

The offload represents seven separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:

  • The cutter Hamilton was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 1,931 kilograms of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Northland was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 2,871 kilograms of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 960 kilograms of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 601 kilograms of cocaine.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane was responsible for one case seizing and estimated 2 kilograms of cocaine.

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The 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 fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast, and in Puerto Rico.

“The hard work of all our servicemen and women, along with our allied partners, directly contributed to the interdiction of 7 tons of cocaine at sea,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, cutter Hamilton commanding officer. “It truly is a team effort stopping these drugs from entering the United States, but more important than the drugs themselves are the arrests and the linkages these cases represent and the steps closer to dismantling the criminal networks that tried to move them into the United States. These transnational criminal organizations would have used the illicit proceeds from these drugs to not only expand their networks but to continue to sow violence, corruption, and a break down in the rule of law throughout the world. ”

The Coast Guard increased U.S. 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. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by U.S. 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 cutter Hamilton is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutters Harriet Lane and Northland are 270-foot medium endurance cutters homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington, North Carolina. The cutter Venturous is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

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