San Pedro-based Coast Guard cutter returns to homeport following first drug bust

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U.S. Coast Guard 11th District PA Detachment LA/LB
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San Pedro-based Coast Guard cutter returns to homeport following first drug bust

Fireman Patrick Saragoza ties off a fender aboard a Coast Guard Station San Diego 45-foot Response Boat-Medium during a joint patrol with the Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour off the coast of Southern California Nov. 27, 2018. The crew of the Rednour made the ship's first drug bust during the patrol. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Kelley/released)

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SAN PEDRO, Calif. — The crew of a San Pedro-based Coast Guard cutter returned to their homeport Saturday following a two-week patrol that included the ship’s first drug bust.

The crew of the recently commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour interdicted approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana from a suspected smuggling vessel on Nov. 28 in international waters, approximately 30 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico maritime border.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Multi Enforcement Aircraft spotted a northbound 25-foot cuddy cabin boat with three people aboard just before midnight, Nov. 27. The Forrest Rednour crew arrived on scene, deployed their interceptor boat and stopped the suspect boat. The ship’s law enforcement team initiated a boarding of the U.S. registered boat and discovered more than 40 bales of marijuana.

The Forrest Rednour crew transferred the marijuana and suspects to Customs and Border Protection agents at Ballast Point.

“These cutters are designed to seamlessly integrate with multiple agency partners to successfully execute an array of missions, so it was great to see it play out flawlessly so early in the ship’s time in service,” said Lt. Graham Sherman, the commanding officer of the Forrest Rednour. “All members of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism worked well together, and it led to a successful outcome.”

The Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) is an evolution of joint operations among interagency partners. Located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ReCoM partnership includes the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP’s Air and Marine Operations, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in cooperation with state and local law enforcement partners operating along the California coast.

The Forrest Rednour was commissioned in San Pedro Nov. 8, and it is one of two new Fast Response Cutters to be homeported in San Pedro. Two additional FRCs are scheduled to be homeported in San Pedro by summer 2019.

FRC’s are 154-foot multi-mission ships designed to conduct: drug and migrant interdictions; ports, waterways and coastal security operations; fisheries and environmental protection patrols; national defense missions; and search and rescue.