The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche will return to its homeport of Alameda on Monday after seizing more than 17,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $266 million off Central America.
ALAMEDA — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche will return home to Alameda on Monday morning after seizing more than 17,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $266 million in the waters off Central America.
The crew also apprehended 20 suspected narcotics traffickers during its 58-day, 12,000-nautical mile deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, prepare to offload approximately 18 tons of cocaine at 10th Ave. Marine Terminal in San Diego on Thursday, June 15, 2017.
Waesche’s crew off-loaded the contraband in San Diego on Thursday, when an additional $288 million in cocaine seized by other Coast Guard cutters was also off-loaded.
The Waesche is scheduled to moor at a pier on Alameda’s Coast Guard Island at 10 a.m. Monday.
The cutter left Alameda on April 22. The crew carried out eight interdictions, including on June 8 when it intercepted a 55-foot boat with approximately 5,500 pounds of cocaine onboard, according to the Coast Guard.
The boat was what the Coast Guard calls a “Low Profile Vessel,” or one with a low profile in the water and that is colored to blend with the ocean, making it difficult to detect.
“The men and women of Waesche’s crew performed flawlessly during this deployment, preventing millions in illicit narcotics from reaching U.S. shores,” Capt. James Passarelli, Waesche’s commanding officer, said in a statement. “Their efforts under challenging and dangerous conditions speak volumes to their collective sense of dedication and sacrifice in keeping America safe. I am incredibly proud of them all.”
During fiscal year 2016, the Coast Guard seized more than 443,000 pounds of cocaine and took 585 suspected smugglers into custody during deployments in the Eastern Pacific.