Maine-Based Coast Guard Rescues Sea Turtles, Seizes 6 Tons Cocaine

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Crewmembers from Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine, rescue a sea turtle entangled in abandoned fishing gear May 14, 2018, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Crewmembers from Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine, rescue a sea turtle entangled in abandoned fishing gear May 14, 2018, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A crew aboard a Maine-based Coast Guard ship seized cocaine valued at over $200 million during an 80-day voyage to combat drug trafficking, the agency said.

Coast Guard Cutter Campbell returned to its homeport of Kittery on Friday with the 12,000-pound haul, estimated to be worth $209 million, the Coast Guard said. The drug seizures came from six disrupted smuggling shipments. The 100-person crew detained 24 suspected smugglers, according to the agency.

During its nearly three-month patrol, the crew also rescued three sea turtles tangled in discarded fishing gear, the agency said.

"Our efforts to integrate with partner agencies and nations are key to the safe and successful execution of these complex interdiction operations as we work together to remove cocaine bound for the United States and help dismantle criminal networks," Cmdr. Mark McDonnell, commanding officer of the Campbell, said.

The 29-year-old cutter makes regular anti-narcotic patrols overseas, often hauling in what is worth millions on the streets.

During this most recent patrol, the ship was equipped with a Florida-based MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. It monitored parts of the East Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America, the agency said, and worked in concert with other law enforcement agencies as part of an international anti-smuggling task force.

This article is written by Callie Ferguson from Bangor Daily News, Maine and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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