The guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift and a U.S. Coast Guard detachment intercepted a fishing vessel smuggling 875 pounds of cocaine while on patrol in international waters off the coast of Central America.
The crew of the San Diego-based ship first detected a small suspect craft on radar. After closing in on the target, the Vandegrift’s SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter took off to further track the suspicious vessel.
A small boat with a Navy and Coast Guard team was sent, and after a search, approximately 400 individually wrapped packages of cocaine were found hidden within the ship.
This seizure marks Vandegrift’s fourth successful smuggling interception in recent months, disrupting an approximated 5,800 pounds of cocaine shipments off the coast of Central America. The incident occurred in late September, but was not reported by the Navy until Tuesday.
Earlier this year the ship rescued the Kaufman family from a stricken sailboat off Cabo San Lucas.
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