PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Coast Guard cutter is returning home to Astoria on Tuesday after seizing $350 million worth of cocaine.
The Cutter Steadfast spent 56 days patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Over the course of their expedition, the Steadfast crew stopped 5 vessels that were suspected of smuggling contraband.
From those stops alone, the crew recovered over 23,000 pounds of cocaine estimated to be worth about $311 million.
“It was a huge achievement for this crew and they’re happy to have it done,” Petty Officer Trevor Lilburn said. “This is a very large amount of drugs and the Coast Guard is ecstatic to have them off the street.”
On the way back home, Cutter Robert Ward added another 3,000 pounds of cocaine to the Steadfast’s haul, bringing the total up to 26,000 pounds worth around $350 million.
“This was 26,000 pounds of cocaine that will not make it to the main streets of the USA,” said Rear Admiral Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. “It also gives us the opportunity to make sure we can continue to combat transnational criminal organizations who transport this cocaine deep in the Pacific every single day.”
This seizure is the largest by this type of cutter during a single deployment in the history of the Coast Guard.
“There are few closer relationships than those among the members of a ship’s crew performing a dangerous, important mission,” said Commander Dan Ursino, the Steadfast’s commanding officer. “Steadfast’s crew has worked as a remarkable, dedicated team with a strong common goal – protecting their nation from the deadly, destructive effects of illegal drugs.”