Pacific Northwest Coast Guard Units Contribute Nearly $4B in Narcotic Seizures

Thursday, October 17, 2002
The U.S. Coast Guard seized more than 93,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in the fiscal year that ended September 30; an amount equal to 80 percent of the 117,280 pounds of cocaine seized. Combine that with the nearly 40,000 pounds of marijuana seized, equals $3.9 billion in illegal drugs the Coast Guard kept off America’s streets. Pacific Northwest units have played a major role in these seizures, which includes the third largest recorded amount of cocaine seized, while maintaining a demanding homeland defense mission. "The Coast Guard is committed to securing America from all maritime threats, whether they be terrorist or smugglers, and we will continue to deny the seas to those who would harm our citizens," said Vice Adm. Terry Cross, Commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area. Pacific Northwest units that have contributed are: --Dec. 4, 2001 Coast Guard Station Bellingham, Wash., seizes four duffle bags containing approximately 121 pounds of marijuana, from a 21-foot vessel. --Jan. 16, 2002 Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Midgett boards a go-fast vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean as a part of Operation New Frontier, and seizes 925 pounds of cocaine. Eight days later, they board another go-fast vessel and seize 733 pounds of cocaine. --Jan. 26, 2002 Astoria, Ore.-based Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast pursuits a 30-foot go-fast vessel for seven hours. During the pursuit, the suspects began throwing the bales over the side. Steadfast and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter eventually recovered 562 bales (3,572 pounds) of marijuana. "Now more than ever, Americans are aware of the threat posed by international criminals smuggling dangerous substances across our borders," said John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy. "The Coast Guard should be commended for rising so ably to the challenges of the past year. Every load of illicit drugs they seize represent that much less that can be used to poison our young people and harm our nation."

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