SAN DIEGO — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618) offloaded more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine Wednesday seized in early May from known drug-transit zones of the Eastern Pacific Ocean worth approximately $37 million.
On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives. Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.
The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“This patrol, and this interdiction in particular, highlights the resilience and professionalism of Active’s crew,” said Cmdr. James O’Mara, commanding officer of Active. “We cancelled a port visit, stretched logistics and diverted 500 miles to get on target and do our job. No captain could ask or expect more from a crew, especially given all the adversity overcome during this patrol. Though I know if more were required, this crew would rally and answer the call, the way they always do.”
Active is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter commissioned in 1966 and homeported in Port Angeles, Washington. Active’s crew routinely operate from the Straits of Juan de Fuca down to the waters off Central America. Active conducts nine of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions, including search and rescue, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement and homeland security.