USCG cutter returns home after $12.5 million drug bust

The crew of Coast Guard cutter Tahoma returned to Kittery, Maine, Thursday after a 70-day counter-drug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Tahoma’s crew seized approximately 700 lbs. of cocaine, valued at $12.5 million while working with an armed helicopter interdiction tactical squadron MH-65 aircraft on board.

The crew of Tahoma worked with several other Coast Guard units in the area to detain 27 suspected narcotics traffickers, and interdict 9,600 lbs. of cocaine and 640 lbs. of marijuana.

Tahoma’s crew transited through the Panama Canal to conduct counter-drug operations under the tactical control of the Joint Interagency Task Force South in support of Operation Martillo. The operation involves 20 participating nations working together to counter transnational organized crime networks and illicit trafficking in the waters along Central America.

“The crew was outstanding in executing the counter-drug mission in support of Operation Martillo,” Cmdr. Michael Sarnowski, commanding officer of Tahoma, said in a statement announcing the cutter’s return home. “I sincerely appreciate the contributions and professionalism from our detached teams while on this deployment.”

Tahoma is a 270′ medium endurance cutter with a crew complement of 100. They conduct maritime enforcement and homeland security missions in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

 

 

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