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MIAMI — Coast Guardsmen and Customs and Border Protection officers received the United States Interdiction Coordinator Award (USIC) Monday during a ceremony at the Seventh Coast Guard District headquartered in Miami.
The award was presented by Michael Botticelli, deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, to Coast Guardsmen and CBP officers from various units in the area, including Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Coast Guard Air Station Miami and Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered.
Also participating in the ceremony was Rear Adm. John H. Korn, Seventh Coast Guard District commander, who recognized the superior performance of Coast Guardmen and CBP officers who contributed to the success of Operation Unified Resolve.
The award recognizes the superior performance of several interagency and international partners who contributed to the success of Operation Unified Resolve, which began in Sept. 2012 to help stem the maritime flow of illicit narcotics into Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Within the last year, this joint maritime law enforcement operation has resulted in the at-sea interdiction of 19 vessels, the arrest of 51 suspected drug traffickers, and the removal of more than 10,600 kilograms of cocaine and 8,450 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated wholesale value of more than $360 million.
The Seventh Coast Guard District encompasses roughly 1.7 million square miles of the United States and Caribbean and is one of the main areas drug traffickers attempt to use in smuggling illegal narcotics into the U.S.
The annual USIC awards recognize significant contributions to the continuing effort to counter the increasing international and asymmetric threat posed by the trafficking of narcotics and other illicit substances.