Operation Martillo Update
By Dialogo June 14, 2013
The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded nearly 3,500 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated wholesale value of $3 million, at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, Florida, on June 7. The drugs were seized on May 10 in the Caribbean Sea during a counter-drug patrol by the Royal Netherlands Navy vessel, HNLMS Friesland.
A U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment onboard the HNLMS Friesland assisted in recovering the 3,497 pounds of marijuana. Suspected smugglers jettisoned 89 bales of marijuana into the water after being pursued by a small boat from HNLMS Friesland. The drugs were later transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin and then handed over to Drug Enforcement Agency agents. This interdiction was carried out as part of Operation Martillo.
“This seizure is another excellent example of how the U.S Coast Guard partners with our European allies to combat illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “Since Operation Martillo began in January 2012, we have collectively seized more than $5 billion of cocaine and $32 million of marijuana.”