USCG Trifecta: Crews Interdict Three Vessels

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf A boarding team member from the Alameda-based Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf stands atop an interdicted low-profile vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Feb. 1 and seized 3, 439 pounds of cocaine. Cartels design low-profile vessels like this one to evade law enforcement and to ferry large quantities of illicit contraband while riding low in the water.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf

USCG Trifecta: Crews Interdict Three Vessels

Sun Staff Reports

Crews aboard Alameda-based Coast Guard cutters Munro and Bertholf interdicted three suspected drug-smuggling vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1. They seized more than 9,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $156 million.

On Jan 26, Munro’s crew boarded a fishing vessel suspected of smuggling illicit narcotics. The boarding teams searched and discovered 1,300 pounds of cocaine concealed within the vessel.

Munro’s crew then interdicted a second suspected drug-smuggling vessel hours later after a maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspicious vessel and directed Munro’s crew toward it. Munro launched a helicopter aircrew and boarding teams, and together they interdicted a low-profile vessel. The boarding teams discovered 3,439 pounds of cocaine aboard the purpose-built drug smuggling vessel.

On Feb. 1, Bertholf’s boarding teams also interdicted a low-profile vessel, seizing more than 4,380 pounds of cocaine. Altogether the Coast Guard took nine suspected traffickers into custody.

Munro and Bertholf are two of four 418-foot Legend-class national security cutters homeported in Alameda. These cutters have a crew of more than 150 and are among the largest and most technologically sophisticated vessels in the Coast Guard’s fleet.

Contact Sun staff at editor@alamedasun.com.