7 tons of cocaine seized, wildlife rescued

Posted at 7:00 PM, Dec 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 00:04:01-05

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis recovered over 1,800 pounds of cocaine and rescued an entangled sea turtle.

The crew seized the cocaine valued at over $53 million dollars while on a 68-day Eastern pacific drug control.

Coast Guard Ens. Mark Krebs, the pursuit mission commander, said that as his team arrived on scene with the jettison field, they immediately noticed the entangled sea turtle. They saw significant chaffing from the lines on his neck and flippers. They briefed the commanding officer and went to work, carefully cutting the lines wrapped around the sea turtle and then eventually freeing him.

The cutter Thetis crew worked alongside the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, an aviation detachment from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron and a Royal Canadian Navy maritime coastal defense vessel in support of Operation Martillo seizing 6,755 kilograms of cocaine and 14 pounds of marijuana during eight separate interdictions that resulted in the apprehension of 24 suspected smugglers.

During this patrol, the combined efforts of the cutter Thetis crew, Joint Interagency Task Force South, HITRON, PACTACLET and other Coast Guard assets eliminated nearly seven tons of illicit narcotics with a street value over $135 million dollars that pose a threat to national security and regional stability.