USCGC Munro's Record Cocaine Haul
The U.S. Coast Guard has released dramatic video of the moment it captured a drug smuggling vessel in the Eastern Pacific.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL-755) returned to San Diego from its maiden drug interdiction mission Thursday with a record 39,000 pounds of cocaine seized from smugglers in the Pacific Ocean.
The cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana were seized during 14 drug interdiction and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America during the past three months. The drugs have a combined street value of $569 million, Coast Guard officials said. Not all of the interactions at sea resulted in seizing drugs; smugglers frequently try dumping their loads before they’re overtaken by Coast Guard pursuit craft.
During a ceremony aboard Munro, Vice President Mike Pence welcomed the crew back and commended their work disrupting the flow of narcotics to the U.S.
“What you seize and put on these decks to be offloaded is prevented from tearing apart lives and communities,” Pence said.
Violence in Central America is related to the narcotics processing and trafficking industry and is driving families out of their homes, spurring many to come to the U.S. southern border, Pence said.
“The transnational criminal organization and the cartels that fund their deadly trade represent one of the greatest national security and public health threats to the American people,” Pence said.
About 75 percent of the Coast Guard’s drug interdictions occur in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, from South America out past the Galapagos Islands and up to Central America and Mexico. This vast 6-million-square-mile transit space, more than twice the size of the continental U.S., is patrolled by a handful of Coast Guard cutters such as Munro.