A Coast Guard ship carrying about 2,800 pounds of cocaine seized from suspected drug smugglers in the Eastern Pacific Ocean returned to San Pedro Thursday morning.
The cocaine, worth an estimated $38.5 million, was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward and another Coast Guard cutter patrolling the region.
“Twenty-eight hundred pounds is a considerable amount of cocaine when you consider this is pure cocaine — it’s uncut in this form,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll told ABC7.
Another 3,000 pounds of cocaine seized in the Robert Ward’s first drug bust was transferred to a ship that returned to San Diego last month.
“The Cutter Robert Ward and three other newly-commissioned cutters based in San Pedro are strengthening the Coast Guard’s safety, security and counter-smuggling efforts along our coast and in the shipping zones off Central and South America,” said Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander.
“I’m proud of the Ward’s crew and applaud their actions to disrupt the cartels that profit from crime, addiction and ruined American lives,” Gautier said.
The Robert Ward was commissioned in March and is one of four recently commissioned ships assigned to bolster Coast Guard safety and security operations in the Pacific Southwest region.