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Northland cocaine offload

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Published on Mar 22, 2012

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Northland offload 3,500 pounds of cocaine at Base Miami Beach, Fla., March 16, 2012. The Northland crew seized the cocaine from a 35-foot go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea March 3, 2012.

While on patrol in the Caribbean Sea, Northland's embarked helicopter crew from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON), based in Jacksonville, Fla., spotted a go-fast vessel with four crewmembers aboard and bales on deck.

Northland crewmembers boarded the go-fast vessel, detained the four suspected smugglers, and seized the 54 bales of contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.

The interdiction was carried out as part of Operation Martillo, which is one component in the United States government's whole-of-government approach to countering the use of the Central American littorals as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons, and cash. Operation Martillo is an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies to counter this illicit trafficking.

"This successful seizure by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Northland is just the latest of several recent interdictions to occur under Operation Martillo," said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement.

U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Ameen.

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