Another Cocaine Delivery Stopped by USS Vandegrift
US Navy’s Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) interdicted approximately 1,925 pounds of cocaine in connection with a small vessel while on patrol off the coast of Central America, Nov. 14.
One of Vandegrift’s SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopters, flown by Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49, located a small vessel in a known illicit drug trafficking area. Once overhead, the crew of the vessel was seen jettisoning what appeared to be large bales of cargo over the side.
The 11th Coast Guard District directed Vandegrift to deploy its joint Coast Guard/Navy Visit Board Search and Seizure boat crew to intercept the vessel. Upon boarding, the LEDET searched the vessel and discovered evidence of illicit drug trafficking. Twenty-two jettisoned bales were recovered from the sea, which tested positive for cocaine.
This marks Vandegrift’s eighth successful smuggling interdiction in recent months, disrupting the distribution of approximately 10,625 pounds of illicit drugs off the coast of Central America.
Vandegrift is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Martillo, which began in January 2012.
Press release, Image: US Navy