USS Gary, Embarked Coast Guardsmen, Seize a Ton of Cocaine Worth $81 Million
USS GARY, At Sea - The Oliver Hazard Perry-class Frigate USS Gary (FFG-51) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Team (LEDET) recently seized more than 2,200 lbs of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the ongoing Operation Martillo.
The seizure is the largest made by Gary while operating in U.S, 4th Fleet area of operations and is worth an estimated street value of $81 Million.
"It was a complex operation involving a law enforcement boarding, boat and helicopter searches, precision driving, detainee handling, and multiple deck operations, but Gary's crew proved they were fully capable of handling it and scored a big win," said Gary's Navigator, Lieutenant Junior Grade Christian Gotcher.
"This was a great day for USS Gary. Everyone on board did their part in making this a successful interdiction. Each department helped in one way or another, from finding the suspect vessel to confiscating the contraband. The men and women of Gary will continue to work hard while we are assigned to Fourth Fleet and hopefully get a few more busts before we return to San Diego," said the ship's Executive Officer, Lt. Drew Greenlees.
Gary is homeported in San Diego, and is currently deployed to Central and South America in support of Operation Martillo and U.S. Fourth Fleet's mission, Southern Seas 2012.
Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer") is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, a component of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
"Overall coordination of counter-drug patrols and surveillance in the Eastern Pacific is done by the Joint Interagency Task Force, South (JIATF-S) a component of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), headquartered in Key West, Fla. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the region occur under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, Calif.
Operation Martillo is part of the U.S. government's coordinated regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Security Initiative."