Coast Guard’s newest national security cutter seizes more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine July 26, 2019, from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Midgett crew members boarded the suspected smuggling vessel and seized the cocaine during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine July 26, 2019, from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Midgett crew members boarded the suspected smuggling vessel and seized the cocaine during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) seen with a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean July 26, 2019. Midgett crew members boarded the suspected drug-smuggling vessel seizing more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) seen with a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean July 26, 2019. Midgett crew members boarded the suspected drug-smuggling vessel seizing more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
A boarding team member from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) inspects contraband discovered within a suspected drug smuggling vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 26, 2019. Midgett crew members boarded the low-profile go-fast vessel seizing more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
A boarding team member from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) inspects contraband discovered within a suspected drug smuggling vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 26, 2019. Midgett crew members boarded the low-profile go-fast vessel seizing more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Bales of cocaine fill a cargo hold within a low-profile go-fast drug smuggling vessel interdicted by U.S. authorities in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean July, 25, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMLS 757) crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the interdicted vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Bales of cocaine fill a cargo hold within a low-profile go-fast drug smuggling vessel interdicted by U.S. authorities in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean July, 25, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMLS 757) crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the interdicted vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The cabin of a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted July 25, 2019 by U.S. authorities in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean shows the controls of the purpose-built smuggling vessel which is designed to ride low in the water to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMLS 757) crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the interdicted vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The cabin of a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted July 25, 2019 by U.S. authorities in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean shows the controls of the purpose-built smuggling vessel which is designed to ride low in the water to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMLS 757) crew members seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the interdicted vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
A boarding team member from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) holds a kilo of contraband seized from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.
A boarding team member from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) holds a kilo of contraband seized from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, July 26, 2019. The Coast Guard’s boarding team seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the suspected drug-smuggling vessel during the cutter’s transit from the Pascagoula shipyard where Midgett was built to the cutter’s future homeport in Honolulu where the cutter is scheduled for commissioning during a dual-commissioning ceremony August 24, 2019 with Midgett’s sister ship the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756). U.S. Coast Guard photo.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Crews aboard the pre-commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) seized more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $64 million from a low-profile go-fast vessel interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

On July 25 a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk aircrew embarked aboard the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) sighted a low-profile go-fast vessel. As the helicopter approached, a hatch opened on the top of the vessel and three passengers were seen jettisoning objects.

The Michael Murphy remained with the suspected smuggling vessel until the Midgett arrived on scene to conduct a law enforcement boarding. Midgett’s boarding team seized approximately 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the interdiction and apprehended three suspected smugglers.

“Even though the cutter is still in a pre-commission status, this interdiction showcases how ready our crew is and how capable the national security cutters are,” said Capt. Alan McCabe, Midgett’s commanding officer. “It also demonstrates the importance of our partnership with the U.S. Navy, whose contributions are vital in stemming the flow of drugs into the United States.”

Nearly 80% of all known illegal narcotics coming into North America are smuggled by international cartels through the eastern pacific corridor.  As these cartels become more advanced in their methods at sea, the Coast Guard is recapitalizing its fleet with modern assets equipped to detect, interdict and disrupt the growing flow of illegal drugs, weapons and people in the Eastern Pacific.

Midgett, the Coast Guard’s eighth national security cutter, was accepted by the Coast Guard in April. The cutter passed through the Panama Canal in July and is sailing to Midgett’s future homeport in Honolulu, where it will be commissioned Aug. 24, along with its sister-ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756).

While national security cutters like the Midgett possess advanced operational capabilities, over 70% of the Coast Guard’s offshore presence is the service’s aging fleet of medium endurance cutters, many of which are over 50 years old and approaching the end of their service life.

Replacing the fleet with new offshore patrol cutters is one of the Coast Guard’s top priorities.

The offshore patrol cutter will provide a critical capability bridge between national security cutters like the Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755), which offloaded 39,000 pounds of cocaine last month, and fast response cutters like the Robert Ward, which recently seized more than 3,000 pounds of the cocaine in the first cocaine seizure made by a fast response cutter in the Eastern Pacific.

-USCG-

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