The U.S. Coast Guard has seised self-propelled semi-submersible suspected drug smuggling vessel on June 19, 2019, in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members seized more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana, worth a combined estimated $569 million, through 14 separate suspected drug smuggling interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July 2019.
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.
The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions, a suspect vessel is initially detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.