US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell returned to San Diego on Thursday with more than 28,000 pounds (approx. 14 tons) of cocaine worth over USD 424 million seized in 19 separate interdictions by US and Canadian forces in drug transit zones near Central and South America.
Coast Guard boarding teams operating from numerous Coast Guard cutters and US Navy and Royal Canadian Navy vessels made the seizures.
During at-sea busts in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied military or law enforcement aircraft or vessels. The actual interdictions, including the boarding, search, seizures and arrests, are led and conducted by US Coast Guardsmen.
US Coast Guard, US Navy and Royal Canadian Navy ships have seized more cocaine in the last six months than in all of fiscal year 2014. US and allied forces operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central and South America have seized more than 56,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than USD 848 million and apprehended more than 101 suspected smugglers.