Coast Guard cutter returns to St. Pete after seizing $56 million of cocaine


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Venturous returned to St. Petersburg on Saturday after a drug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

During the 60-day mission, the crew stopped two high-speed vessels and seized more than 4,200 pounds of cocaine, a wholesale value of more than $56 million. They detained five suspected smugglers during the patrol.

In addition to their narcotics mission, the crew rescued three fishermen who were stranded for several days thousands of miles from shore without food or water.

“I’m incredibly proud of the extraordinary skill, teamwork, dedication, and adaptability displayed by the Venturous crew over the last two months,” said Cmdr. Matthew Chong, commanding officer of the Venturous. “Not only did they prevent over two tons of cocaine from reaching the United States, their actions will help in the continued effort to dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that attempted to bring these drugs to our country and continue to propagate violence and lawlessness throughout the region.”

The Venturous, a 210-foot Reliance class Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, has a crew complement of 76.Copyright 2018 WFLA

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