Cutter Bear Returns Home After Interdicting $140+ Million of Illicit Drugs
Posted on April 26, 2021 by Seapower Staff
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bear (WMEC 901) returned home to Portsmouth Sunday following an 86-day counter-drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard 5th District said in an April 26 release.
The Bear’s crew interdicted three vessels, seized approximately 8,158 pounds of cocaine, two pounds of methamphetamines, as well as marijuana, worth a combined total of over $140 million, and detained 12 suspected drug smugglers.
The Bear’s crew also coordinated operations with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Tactical Law Enforcement Team South Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET-108), who were deployed aboard the HMCS Saskatoon, a Kingston-class coastal defense vessel from the Canadian Navy. The collaboration supported LEDET-108’s seizure of an additional 2,866 pounds of cocaine and the detention of three suspected smugglers.
A flight crew and aviation detachment from the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON), deployed aboard the Bear for the patrol. HITRON crews specialize in airborne use of force, and are based out of Jacksonville, Florida. The crew of the Bear worked in preparation for the counter-narcotics mission, partaking in numerous flight operations to recertify the flight crew and enhance crew proficiency in shipboard helicopter operations and non-complaint vessel training. https://seapowermagazine.org/cutter-bear-returns-home-after-interdicting-140-million-of-illicit-drugs/