• Home »
  • Uncategory »
  • Security forces with Operation MARTILLO seize 14 tons of cocaine and capture 55 alleged drug traffickers

Security forces with Operation MARTILLO seize 14 tons of cocaine and capture 55 alleged drug traffickers

By Dialogo
October 14, 2014



Security forces working as part of Operation MARTILLO have between July and October seized about 14 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated $423 million (USD).

The operations, conducted by U.S. Coast Guard and Navy patrols in cooperation with Latin American partner nations, seized the drugs and captured 55 suspects during 18 separate interdictions off the coasts of Central and South America. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell brought the seized drugs to Naval Base San Diego, in the state of California, on October 6. U.S. authorities offloaded the drugs at the base.

The Boutwell made six interdictions, seizing more than 2,267 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $75 million (USD), and its crew captured 19 alleged drug smugglers. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the USS McClusky, the USS Vandergrift, the USS Ingraham, the Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team South from Miami, Fla., and Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron from Jacksonville, Fla., also made seizures and detained 36 additional alleged smugglers in the Eastern Pacific.

“Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, the Boutwell’s commanding officer. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.”

The Boutwell’s crew will receive ribbons for their successful interdictions and stickers recognizing the cocaine seizures will be affixed to ship’s bridge wing, in keeping with Coast Guard tradition.

“You’ve made a tremendous difference in this work to combat the criminal networks that operate to transport illicit drugs and to bring great evil to this region and this hemisphere,” Vice Adm. Charles Ray, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, said during a ceremony aboard the Boutwell on October. 6. “Your work with these seizures made a big dent in their operations, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

“The success of the crew of Cutter Boutwell, and of all our U.S. forces deployed throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean, showcase the resolve of the Coast Guard, our interagency partners, and the international community to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Western Hemisphere. These Coast Guard men and women successfully confronted the risks brought on by the rising threat of transnational organized crime networks, which must be confronted to ensure maritime safety, efficiency, and security in the Western Hemisphere.”

The countries participating in Operation MARTILLO include Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panamá, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In 2013, security forces with Operation MARTILLO seized 131metric tons of cocaine, more than 32,000 pounds of marijuana, and 4,000 grams of heroin. Security forces with Operation MARTILLO also captured 295 suspects.


Security forces working as part of Operation MARTILLO have between July and October seized about 14 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated $423 million (USD).

The operations, conducted by U.S. Coast Guard and Navy patrols in cooperation with Latin American partner nations, seized the drugs and captured 55 suspects during 18 separate interdictions off the coasts of Central and South America. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell brought the seized drugs to Naval Base San Diego, in the state of California, on October 6. U.S. authorities offloaded the drugs at the base.

The Boutwell made six interdictions, seizing more than 2,267 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $75 million (USD), and its crew captured 19 alleged drug smugglers. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the USS McClusky, the USS Vandergrift, the USS Ingraham, the Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team South from Miami, Fla., and Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron from Jacksonville, Fla., also made seizures and detained 36 additional alleged smugglers in the Eastern Pacific.

“Our crew used their unique capabilities and authorities as a military service, law enforcement agency, and member of the U.S. intelligence community to disrupt transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and keep drugs from making it to the U.S.,” said Capt. Edward A. Westfall, the Boutwell’s commanding officer. “These illegal drug networks are dangerous breeding grounds for all types of trafficking and their immense profits fuel violence and instability.”

The Boutwell’s crew will receive ribbons for their successful interdictions and stickers recognizing the cocaine seizures will be affixed to ship’s bridge wing, in keeping with Coast Guard tradition.

“You’ve made a tremendous difference in this work to combat the criminal networks that operate to transport illicit drugs and to bring great evil to this region and this hemisphere,” Vice Adm. Charles Ray, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, said during a ceremony aboard the Boutwell on October. 6. “Your work with these seizures made a big dent in their operations, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

“The success of the crew of Cutter Boutwell, and of all our U.S. forces deployed throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean, showcase the resolve of the Coast Guard, our interagency partners, and the international community to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Western Hemisphere. These Coast Guard men and women successfully confronted the risks brought on by the rising threat of transnational organized crime networks, which must be confronted to ensure maritime safety, efficiency, and security in the Western Hemisphere.”

The countries participating in Operation MARTILLO include Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panamá, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In 2013, security forces with Operation MARTILLO seized 131metric tons of cocaine, more than 32,000 pounds of marijuana, and 4,000 grams of heroin. Security forces with Operation MARTILLO also captured 295 suspects.
Share