USS Kauffman Exchanges Detainee and Evidence with Ecuador
The guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) conducted a detainee and evidence exchange with Ecuadorian government representatives off the northern coast of the Galapagos Islands, June 13.
The exchange took place as part of a coordinated effort by Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, Ecuadorian officials, and Kauffman, as the ship continues its participation in Operation Martillo. The multi-nation effort aims to stem the flow of narcotics and illegal smuggling through littoral waterways of the Caribbean Sea and and along the Pacific coast of Central America.
In most cases, contraband smugglers caught by the U.S. are prosecuted by whichever U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) district they are caught in. In this situation, the suspects in question were part of a larger case the Ecuadorian government is pursuing, said a USCG chief petty officer.
Image: US Navy