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Coast Guard crew returns to Naval Station Mayport after seizing $41 million worth of cocaine

The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant crew returns to homeport Jan. 29, 2019, at Naval Station Mayport, Florida. The Valiant crew returned to homeport after a counter-drug patrol in the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson)
May 28, 2019

A crew on the United States’ Coast Guard Cutter Valiant returned to Naval Station Mayport on Memorial Day following a nine-week drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific. The crew seized 2,718 pounds of cocaine, worth over $41 million, the Coast Guard says. The crew also apprehended three suspected drug smugglers.

“The noteworthy results of Valiant’s patrol underscore what a well-trained crew can accomplish with a still highly-capable 51-year-old Coast Guard cutter,” said Cmdr. Matthew Waldron, Valiant’s commanding officer.

“Transiting through the Panama Canal and patrolling well out into the Eastern Pacific Ocean, at one point we were closer to Kodiak, Alaska than we were from our own homeport in Mayport, Florida. We overcame multiple engineering casualties to remain fully mission capable in the most highly trafficked maritime drug smuggling vector in the world for two months, all with no lost operational days. In doing so, we supported the nation’s counterdrug mission by apprehending illicit drug smugglers on the high seas, leading to the disruption and dismantling of transnational criminal organizations. I am so incredibly proud of what this crew overcame and accomplished. Now we return to homeport to refit, repair, and recharge–all so Valiant can go right back out and do it all again.”The crew patrolled over 14,000 nautical miles in the Eastern Pacific during their mission.


© 2019 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.