Caribbean Sea: USS Kidd, USCG LEDET 401 seize $6 million in cocaine, arrest 3 smugglers

The US Navy, Coast Guard and U.S. law enforcement partners seized 225 kilograms of cocaine and apprehended three suspected smugglers following the interdiction of a drug smuggling go-fast in the Caribbean Sea last Monday.

Photo: Ricardo Castrodad / US Coast Guard

The seized cocaine has a wholesale value of approximately $6 million, according to the USCG.

Two suspected smugglers are Dominican Republic nationals and one is Colombian.

The interdiction is the result of an international, multi-agency law enforcement effort in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard, Campaign Martillo, and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).

During a routine patrol in support of Joint Interagency Task Force – South’s mission to detect attempts to transport contraband into the U.S. and partner nations, the USS Kidd’s (DDG 100) helicopter crew sighted a suspicious go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea.

The USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating with U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 401 onboard, coordinated with the Coast Guard Seventh District to interdict the suspect vessel.

The helicopter crew observed the suspected smugglers jettison multiple bales into the water as the go-fast continued to evade capture. The USS Kidd successfully interdicted and boarded the go-fast with the assistance of the CG LEDET 401. The ship’s crew and CG LEDET 401 apprehended the suspected smugglers and recovered eight jettisoned bales from the water. The seized contraband tested positive for cocaine.

The Coast Guard Cutter Resolute (WMEC-620) embarked and transported the suspected smugglers and seized contraband to San Juan, Puerto Rico Saturday, where awaiting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-HSI, and DEA special agents received custody.