Fri | Apr 19, 2024

US Coast Guard disrupts illegal narcotics trafficking during Caribbean deployment

Published:Sunday | February 25, 2024 | 11:28 AM
The US Coast Guard said the Thetis worked in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South, alongside partners, to deter illegal narcotics trafficking in the Central Caribbean. - File photo

KEY WEST, CMC – The United States Coast Guard says the crew of the Cutter Thetis returned to their homeport in Key West on Friday following a 62-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea in which they disrupted illegal narcotics trafficking. 

The US Coast Guard said the Thetis worked in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South, alongside partners, to deter illegal narcotics trafficking in the Central Caribbean. 

With a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron and support from the USS Farragut (DDG 99), the US Coast Guard said the Thetis interdicted about 2,646 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of US$34.8 million. 

The vessel pursued two cases while patrolling the region and conducted law enforcement operations through close coordination with multiple maritime patrol aircraft and other Coast Guard assets. 

“The cases we encountered on this patrol emphasise the importance of collaboration across departments and agencies in deterring the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States,” said Master Chief Petty Officer AJ Gibson, the command chief of Thetis. “I am extremely proud of the adaptability and determination displayed by our crew in successfully completing the mission.” 

The Coast Guard also said that the crew of the Cutter Charles David Jr repatriated 25 migrants to Cuba Wednesday following “an interdiction of a migrant venture near Key West, Florida.” 

The US Coast Guard said a good Samaritan notified them of suspected migrant voyage.

“US maritime borders are not open to illegal migrant voyages,” said Captain Jason Ingram, Sector Commander at US Sector Key West. “The Coast Guard and our partners are committed to stopping illegal ventures and preventing unsafe voyages at sea.” 

The US Coast Guard said its crews repatriated 308 migrants to Cuba in fiscal year 2024, which began on October 1, 2023.

Follow The Gleaner on X and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.