U.S. Coast Guard Shatters Drug Bust Record
Just call them the Drug Busters.
The U.S. Coast Guard and its interagency partners had a record-breaking year when it came to drug busting in FY 2016. The agency removed more than 416,600 pounds of cocaine worth over $5.6 billion from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.
The previous record was held in 2008 when the agency removed 367,700 pounds of cocaine. “This impressive record not only reflects the extraordinary accomplishments of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard but the continued threat our nation faces
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from transnational criminal organizations determined to move drugs into our country by any means necessary,” says Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson. During FY 2016, the Coast Guard also apprehended 585 suspected drug smugglers—breaking last year’s record of 503. Of the 585 apprehended, 465 were transferred to the U.S. for prosecution—breaking another service record. “These prosecutions erode and undermine the supply channels critical to the operations of drug kingpins who prey on our citizens with highly addictive drugs and spread violence throughout our hemisphere,” says VADM Fred Midgette, Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area. “From 2002 to 2011, information obtained from suspects apprehended by the Coast Guard contributed to the arrest and extradition of more than 75 percent of drug kingpins.” Coast Guard partners include the Joint interagency Task Force South, Eleventh and Seventh Coast Guard Districts in Alameda and Miami, and numerous U.S. Attorneys’ Offices that coordinate the investigation and prosecution of drug smuggling cases.
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