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HITRON and Cutter Thetis seized 3,7 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea

HITRON and Cutter Thetis seized 3,7 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea
A Coast Guard HITRON MH-65 Dolphin aircrew and the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis crew interdicted more than 3,7 tons in cocaine during a Caribbean Sea patrol.
The Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from HITRON (Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron) deployed conducts in-flight refueling evolutions with the crew of USCGC Thetis (WMEC 910), Jan. 31, 2024, in the Central Caribbean Sea. Coast Guard Thetis patrolled with an embarked HITRON MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to support the Coast Guard’s mission to combat illegal drug trafficking.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Jordan Russell.

KEY WEST, Fla. – The crew of USCGC Thetis and a Coast Guard HITRON MH-65 Dolphin aircrew seized more than 3,7 tons in cocaine during a Caribbean Sea patrol.

The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC 910) crew returned to their homeport in Key West and the MH-65 Dolphin, from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, crew returned to their base in Jacksonville. The Coast Guard assets was deployed due a 62-day patrol in the Central Caribbean Sea.

Thetis worked in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South alongside partners to deter illegal narcotics trafficking in the Central Caribbean. With an embarked MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron and support from the USS Farragut (DDG 99), Cutter Thetis interdicted approximately 2,646 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $34.8 million.

USCGC Thetis pursued two cases while patrolling the region and conducted law enforcement operations through close coordination with multiple maritime patrol aircraft and other Coast Guard assets. With the Farragut, Thetis interdicted more than 2,094 pounds of cocaine.

In another case, Thetis interdicted a go-fast vessel, resulting in the detainment of two suspected narcotics traffickers and the seizure of 441 pounds of cocaine.

“The cases we encountered on this patrol emphasize the importance of collaboration across departments and agencies in deterring the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States,” said Master Chief Petty Officer AJ Gibson, the command chief of Thetis. “I am extremely proud of the adaptability and determination displayed by our crew in successfully completing the mission.”

Thetis is a 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter with a crew of 100. Their primary missions are counter-narcotics operations, migrant interdiction, living marine resources protection, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.


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