USCG Frogmen Rule! The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro are back in San Diego after running a series of 14 separate drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July 2019. WATCH:
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members board a self-propelled semi-submersible suspected drug smuggling vessel (SPSS) June 18, 2019, while operating in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Purpose-build smuggling vessels like SPSSs are designed to hold large quantities of contraband while evading detection by law enforcement authorities.
As a result of their latest deployment the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro will offload more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth a combined estimated $569 million, which was seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks today at 2:45pm EST -from San Diego- while thanking the crews.
USCG Vice President Pence; James W. Carroll, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Uttam Dhillon, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, are scheduled to visit Munro and give remarks.
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. (Link)
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members aboard the cutter’s 35-foot Long Range Interceptor small boat supervising the intentional sinking of suspected drug-smuggling boats May 17, 2019, following the seizure of cocaine from the boats during an at-sea interdiction while Munro’s crew patrolled international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Due to the distance from land, inadequate tow points and flooding in the engine rooms of the boats, the boats were sunk as a hazard to navigation. U.S. Coast Guard photo