MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk offloaded 600 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated wholesale value more than $500,000, and transferred one suspected drug smuggler to Drug Enforcement Agency Agents in Key West, Fla., March 2.
While conducting a law-enforcement patrol, the crew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine aircraft located a suspicious go-fast vessel with five persons aboard in the Western Caribbean Sea.
Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk were diverted to the scene. Upon arrival to the location of the go-fast, Mohawk crewmembers witnessed the suspected smugglers jettison several packages into the water.
Crewmembers from the cutter Mohawk conducted a law enforcement boarding on the go-fast vessel.
A total of 68 packages were recovered from the water which tested positive for marijuana.
Four suspected drug smugglers and case package were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant and later transferred to Jamaican Defense Force.
One suspected smuggler and 68 bales of marijuana were transferred to Drug Enforcement Agency Agents in Key West, March 2.
The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter, homeported in Key West, Fla.
The Vigilant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla.
Medium endurance cutters like the Mohawk and Vigilant are slated for replacement by new Offshore Patrol Cutters. The new OPCs will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard's maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners, superior to the cutters they replace. Equipped with modern sensors, the OPCs will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.