GALVESTON, TX — Galveston based Coast Guard crews helped interdict more than $2 million worth of marijuana aboard a drug-smuggling speed boat between the coasts of Haiti and Cuba on August 13.
The Ocean Sentry aircrew located a white-hulled, speed boat with three outboard engines, drifting in the water south of Cuba, and directed the Dauntless and Confidence to its location.
While the cutters were closing in on the speed boat from opposite directions, they deployed law enforcement crews aboard small boats from each cutter.
The speed boat crew fled and threw bales of marijuana overboard as the law enforcement crews closed in. The Dauntless’ law enforcement crew recovered the marijuana floating in the water, while the Confidence’s law enforcement crew continued the chase. The Confidence’s law enforcement crew was able to overtake the speed boat and detain the drug smugglers that were aboard.
Crewmembers from both cutters seized more than 2,240 pounds of marijuana, which has an estimated street value of $2,036,215.
"The textbook coordination, execution, and prosecution of a marijuana-laden speed vessel by Coast Guard Cutters and Aircraft truly was a great thing to see,” said Cmdr. John Pruitt III, the commanding officer of the Dauntless. “Training and standardization truly proved the day."
The Dauntless, a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter with an 80 person crew, has earned a reputation as one of the nation's premier "drug busters." The Dauntless became the first cutter in history to seize one million pounds of marijuana. During its Coast Guard career, the Dauntless has had more than 90 illegal narcotics busts, more than any other Coast Guard cutter. In addition to drug interdiction the cutter participates in search and rescue and other Coast Guard missions.