MIAMI, United States (CMC)— Members of the United States Coast Guard stationed in Cape Canaveral, Florida, returned to port Wednesday after busting drug smuggling operations off the coast of Costa Rica worth more than US$118 million.
The drug bust, led by the crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, occurred earlier this month during a 40-day tour of the western Caribbean Sea that included joint anti-narcotics operations with the Honduran and Colombian militaries.
According to coast guard officials, while patrolling the Colombian basin, members of the Vigilant’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron armed helicopter crew, intervened on two suspected drug boats, shooting out the engines and disabling the vessels.
The Coast Guard’s 7th District Petty Officer Third Class, Brandon Murray, said that along with a third vessel, the busts yielded about 6,800 pounds of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of US$118.3 million.
The operations were part of an enhanced counter-narcotics efforts by the US military in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific Ocean.