The San Diego-based littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords and an embarked Coast Guard law-enforcement detachment seized an estimated 2,810 kilograms of cocaine valued at $106 million, the Navy reported Friday.
While on routine patrol in the 4th Fleet area of operations last weekend, the Gabrielle Giffords was diverted to intercept a low-profile vessel typically used to smuggle narcotics.
The warship deployed one of its helicopters to monitor the situation, while small boats carrying Coast Guard personnel were launched to board the suspected smuggling boat. After boarding, officers discovered approximately 134 bales of cocaine and detained three suspected drug traffickers.
“Interdiction evolutions, no matter how often you conduct them, are different every time,” said Chief Boatswains Mate Daniel Pike. “Our team is dedicated to exemplifying the qualities of safe, professional mariners during these operations from start to finish.”
The Gabrielle Giffords is deployed to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission to counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.