MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Coast Guard to offload more than 22,000 pounds of cocaine in San Diego

united states coast guard 

News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard 11th District PA Detachment San Diego
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment San Diego
Office: (619) 278-7025
After Hours: (619) 252-1304
PA Detachment San Diego online newsroom

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Coast Guard to offload
more than 22,000 pounds of cocaine in San Diego

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton interdiction B-roll

Editors' Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

WHO: Capt. Craig Wieschhorster, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, Timothy Sutherland, deputy director of air operations, San Diego Air and Marine Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and crewmembers of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton.

WHAT: Will be available for interviews regarding their counter-smuggling patrol, which resulted in the disruption of 22,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean

WHEN: Wednesday at 8 a.m.

WHERE: Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal located at 1824 Crosby Rd., San Diego, CA 92101

Editor's Note: Media interested in attending should arrive at 8 a.m. and bring a government-issued photo ID, press credentials, proof of vehicle registration and insurance. Media will be escorted to the event location following security screening.

SAN DIEGO — More than 11 tons of cocaine seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean from late August to mid-September is scheduled to be offloaded by the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton Wednesday in San Diego.


The drugs were seized during the interdiction of eight suspected smuggling vessels found off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by the Coast Guard cutters Stratton (WMSL-752), Seneca (WMEC-906) and Active (WMEC-618).

  • Stratton was responsible for six cases, seizing an estimated 7,472 kilograms of cocaine.
  • Seneca was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,340 kilograms of cocaine.
  • Active was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,200 kilograms of cocaine.

"This offload reflects the outstanding efforts of the Coast Guard and our partner agencies to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations,” said Capt. Craig J. Wieschhorster, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. “These interdiction results take hundreds of millions of dollars away from these criminal networks that work to undermine the rule of law in South and Central America which increases migration pressures on the U.S. southern border. Keeping this product off the streets of America saves lives, and I am very proud of the efforts of my crew."


Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated 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 criminal organizations in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.


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 detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.


The Stratton is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Alameda. The Seneca is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The Active is also a 210-foot medium endurance cutter and is homeported in Port Angeles, Washington.