A Coast Guard crew seized $82 million worth of cocaine while on patrol in the Caribbean

Gwen Filosa
·1 min read

The U.S. Coast Guard said one of its crews seized nearly $82 million worth of cocaine while on a recent patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

During the 43-day patrol, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis interdicted three drug boats and seized close to 6,000 pounds of cocaine, the Coast Guard reported.

“By making our presence known in the Caribbean, we continue to disrupt the flow of illicit and dangerous drugs into the United States,” said Cmdr. Justin Nadolny, commanding officer of the Cutter Thetis, which returned home to Key West on Sunday. “Despite strong winds and rough seas throughout the patrol, the crew persevered and did an outstanding job in executing the mission.”

The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis is moored to a pier in Key West on Feb. 19, 2021.
The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis is moored to a pier in Key West on Feb. 19, 2021.

In one case, the Thetis crew used a helicopter to stop a go-fast boat by firing on the boat’s outboard engine, the Coast Guard said.

“They specialize in stopping those kinds of vessels with shooting out the engines,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Jose Hernandez.

The stop resulted in the crew seizing about 1,220 pounds of cocaine and apprehending three suspected drug smugglers.

Great job to the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis crew for completing their 43-day counter-drug patrol! #LawEnforcement #USCG #D7 #Ready #Relevant #Responsive

Posted by U.S. Coast Guard Southeast on Monday, February 22, 2021

The crew also conducted joint counter-narcotic operations with the Colombian Navy.