Wilmington-based Coast Guard cutter helps in $190M cocaine seizure

Coast Guard Capt. Mark Gordon speaks to the media Tuesday. (Source: US Coast Guard)
Coast Guard Capt. Mark Gordon speaks to the media Tuesday. (Source: US Coast Guard)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, whose home port is Wilmington, was part of a recent $190 million seizure of cocaine.

A news release from the Coast Guard said approximately 14,000 pounds of cocaine was offloaded by the crew of Cutter Hamilton in Port Everglades, Fla., on Tuesday.

Diligence was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 960 kilograms of the drug.

"The hard work of all our servicemen and women, along with our allied partners, directly contributed to the interdiction of seven tons of cocaine at sea," said Capt. Mark Gordon, Cutter Hamilton commanding officer. "It truly is a team effort stopping these drugs from entering the United States, but more important than the drugs themselves are the arrests and the linkages these cases represent and the steps closer to dismantling the criminal networks that tried to move them into the United States."

The drugs were intercepted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South American by five cutters: Hamilton, Diligence, Northland, Venturous and Harriet Lane.

During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guardsmen.

Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter.

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