Photo: Photo Courtesy Of U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Joel Guzman
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The crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, who are based in Alameda along with the ship, unloaded 14,300 pounds of cocaine from the ship on Friday in San Diego, according to the Coast Guard. The cocaine was seized in international waters off of the Eastern Pacific Ocean from between February to late March.
“The offload that you see behind me, the bales of cocaine, represents a successful example of the cycle of justice,” said Rear Admiral Nathan Moore, deputy commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area at a press conference about the drug seizure on Friday.
“This cycle of justice disrupts a cycle of crime which, left unchecked, fuels violence and instability that erodes our hemisphere’s social and economic fabric and directly contributes to historically high numbers of drug related deaths in North America.”
The Coast Guard posted a video with footage of the unloading of the cocaine to Twitter earlier Friday.
The haul was the result of six different drug busts over the past two months off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by the Waesche and two other Coast Guard cutters, the Active and the Steadfast. Each ship was responsible for two of the six busts.
The Waesche was responsible for seizing the largest share of the drugs with approximately 2,874 kilograms of cocaine. The Steadfast seized approximately 2,350 kilograms of cocaine and the Active seized approximately 1,297 kilograms of cocaine.
The Waesche was most likely the chosen ship to unload all of the cocaine because it is the largest of the three ships. At 418-feet, the national security ship is nearly twice the size of the other two.
According to the Coast Guard, the agency has increased its presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Basin, which is where drugs are smuggled off of the coasts of South and Central America. The agency said that the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, was responsible for the law enforcement phase of the counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/7-1-tons-of-cocaine-unloaded-from-Alameda-based-13746062.php.