MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis returned home to Key West Sunday following a 65-day patrol in the Pacific where they seized $140 million in cocaine.
Thetis, a 270 foot cutter, spent 65 days through the Panama Canal to conduct several missions, primarily drug interdiction, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Early in the patrol, Thetis intercepted a go-fast vessel transporting approximately 700 kilograms of cocaine. Over the next several days, the crew stopped three more go-fast vessels and a fishing vessel seizing an additional 3,280 kilograms of cocaine. Near the end of the 65 day patrol, the vessel seized another fishing vessel with 670 kilograms of cocaine.
In total, the coast guard crew disrupted and interdicted six vessels suspected of drug smuggling, detained 15 suspected narco-traffickers and recovered over 4,650 kilograms of illegal narcotics worth an estimated wholesale value of $140 million.
“These high speed and highly visible boarding’s are one of the most dangerous missions we face. As a team we acted expeditiously to secure the vessels and the suspects engaged in violations of the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act,” Maritime Enforcement Specialist First Class, Charles Kinnear, one of Thetis’ boarding officers stated in a press release.