The haul of narcotics removed from the decks of the cutter Bertholf in San Diego Thursday morning was the fruit of 13 vessel interdictions and one bale recovery that occurred off the coast of Central and South America between late January and early last month, according to USCG public affairs.
The crew of the Bertholf was responsible for six of the seizures, the largest amounting to 6.4 tons of cocaine discovered aboard a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel intercepted March 3.
The cutter Valiant, meanwhile, nabbed six suspected smuggling vessels, and the Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen stopped a suspected smuggling boat and recovered about 1,500 pounds of cocaine found floating in bales in the region.
“Taking tons of deadly drugs off the street and apprehending dozens of suspected smugglers not only saves lives here at home, but it also disrupts the efforts of international drug-trafficking organizations (that) spread violence and instability wherever they operate,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District.
The Bertholf is a 418-foot national-security ship homeported in Alameda. The 210-foot Valiant is based in Mayport, Florida, and Lassen is homeported in Jacksonville, Florida.
–City News Service
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