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U.S., Canadian Forces Partner to Seize Cocaine in Support of Operation MARTILLO

By Dialogo
April 22, 2015



Partner nations working together in support of Operation MARTILLO have teamed up to seize more than 25,401 kilograms of cocaine in the past six months during patrols in near Central and South America.

The effort has captured 101 suspected narco-traffickers in connection with the cocaine, which was worth more than $848 million.

“It takes a network to defeat a [transnational organized criminal] network,” Vice Admiral Charles Michel, U.S. Deputy Commandant for Operations, recently wrote in the U.S. Coast Guard’s official blog, the Coast Guard Compass
.

Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 10 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

They work together to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America. About 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States is trafficked through Mexico and Central America, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board stated in its 2014 Report.

U.S. and Canadian officials the operation’s accomplishments on April 16, when the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell returned to its home port in the city of San Diego with more than 12,700 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of more than $424 million. That cocaine was seized during 19 interdictions, culminating in March when the USS Gary, Boutwell and Canadian Ship Whitehorse partnered to seize about 5,284 kilograms of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Costa Rica. It was the single largest maritime drug interdiction in the Eastern Pacific since 2009.

The USS Gary and its U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) were patrolling international waters when it spotted the crew of a coastal freighter throwing bales overboard. The Gary called the Whitehorse and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell to assist in the interdiction. Members of the LEDET and Whitehorse boarded the ship, but they didn’t find any more cocaine than the approximately 5,284 kilograms of cocaine that had been tossed into the water.

That bust follows an earlier occurred after the USS Kauffman partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Ships Goose Bay and Shawinigan to seize 1,017 kilograms of cocaine off a vessel in the western Caribbean Sea on February 28. Naval forces removed the cocaine, which was valued at about $33.9 million and arrested eight crew members before the Kauffman sank the ship off the coast of Panama after determining it was in no condition to return to shore because it had taken on too much water.


Partner nations working together in support of Operation MARTILLO have teamed up to seize more than 25,401 kilograms of cocaine in the past six months during patrols in near Central and South America.

The effort has captured 101 suspected narco-traffickers in connection with the cocaine, which was worth more than $848 million.

“It takes a network to defeat a [transnational organized criminal] network,” Vice Admiral Charles Michel, U.S. Deputy Commandant for Operations, recently wrote in the U.S. Coast Guard’s official blog, the Coast Guard Compass
.

Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 10 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

They work together to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America. About 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States is trafficked through Mexico and Central America, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board stated in its 2014 Report.

U.S. and Canadian officials the operation’s accomplishments on April 16, when the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell returned to its home port in the city of San Diego with more than 12,700 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of more than $424 million. That cocaine was seized during 19 interdictions, culminating in March when the USS Gary, Boutwell and Canadian Ship Whitehorse partnered to seize about 5,284 kilograms of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Costa Rica. It was the single largest maritime drug interdiction in the Eastern Pacific since 2009.

The USS Gary and its U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) were patrolling international waters when it spotted the crew of a coastal freighter throwing bales overboard. The Gary called the Whitehorse and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell to assist in the interdiction. Members of the LEDET and Whitehorse boarded the ship, but they didn’t find any more cocaine than the approximately 5,284 kilograms of cocaine that had been tossed into the water.

That bust follows an earlier occurred after the USS Kauffman partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Ships Goose Bay and Shawinigan to seize 1,017 kilograms of cocaine off a vessel in the western Caribbean Sea on February 28. Naval forces removed the cocaine, which was valued at about $33.9 million and arrested eight crew members before the Kauffman sank the ship off the coast of Panama after determining it was in no condition to return to shore because it had taken on too much water.
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