The US Navy and Coast Guard have jointly recovered approximately 630 kg of cocaine, worth an estimated wholesale value of approximately USD 23 million, in international waters in the drug transit zone of the Eastern Pacific, May 6.
During a routine patrol of the Eastern Pacific in international waters off the coast of Central and South America in support of Operation Martillo, the guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman’s embarked helicopter squadron spotted suspicious packages in the water.
The bales were recovered by a grappling hook and brought on board Kauffman for examination. Once on board, the Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment identified the packages as cocaine and took custody of the cargo.
Operation Martillo, a joint, international law enforcement and military operation involving the US, European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targets illicit trafficking routes used by transnational criminal organizations in the waters off Central America.