The Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753) crew offloaded approximately 26,000 pounds of seized cocaine and 1,500 pounds of seized marijuana Thursday at Port Everglades.
The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America and include contraband seized and recovered in over a dozen interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships:
The cutter Hamilton was responsible for four cases, seizing approximately 1,400 pounds of marijuana and some 9,000 pounds of cocaine.
The Coast Guard Cutter Resolute (WMEC-620) was responsible for four interdictions seizing approximately 7,550 pounds of cocaine.
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Whitehorse with a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment aboard interdicted two suspected smuggling boats seizing more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine.
HMCS Yellowknife, also with a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment aboard, was responsible for one interdiction seizing more than 50 pounds of marijuana.
The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC-913) was responsible for five cases, seizing nearly 8,600 pounds of cocaine.
“The crew of Hamilton has shown the utmost commitment and dedication to the Coast Guard and to the United States over the course of the last three months," said Capt. Mark Gordon, commanding officer of the cutter Hamilton. "It is incredibly difficult for our crew to be separated from family and loved ones for such an extended period of time, but their perseverance and enthusiasm to conducting this mission was fundamental to our success. Without their determination these criminal organizations would continue to spread fear and violence throughout the Americas.”
The cutter Hamilton’s crew along with those of the other ships conducted operations targeting transnational criminal organizations in conjunction with Joint Interagency Task Force-South, Department of Defense, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Justice, and a number of other Coast Guard aircraft, the Ecuadorian Coast Guard, and the Costa Rican Coast Guard. The cutter Hamilton’s presence and efforts are critical to disrupting and dismantling the transnational criminal organizations that attempt to smuggle these drugs through the ocean and into Central and North America.
The cutter Hamilton is a 418-foot National Security Cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Resolute is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. HMCS Whitehorse and Yellowknife are Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class coastal defense vessels homeported in Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada. The cutter Mohawk is a medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.