PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Coast Guard ship crew came back home Sunday, after being in the Eastern Pacific Ocean for 86 days on counter-drug patrol.
Coast Guard Cutter Bear's crew stopped three ships during the drug patrol. They confiscated about 8,158 pounds of cocaine, two pounds of methamphetamines and marijuana.
The drugs combined were worth over $140 million and 12 suspected drug smugglers were arrested in the process.
“I am extremely proud of this crew and honored to be their commanding officer,” said Cmdr. Jeff Ferlauto, the Bear’s Commanding Officer.
“It’s been an extremely successful deployment and the crew met each challenge head-on. Since our initial transit through the Panama Canal into the Eastern Pacific, this crew dominated! As we get ready for the home stretch, I want to personally thank all the families and friends for their continued support. I realize that our personal lives and our devotion to duty are in constant tension. We have chosen to serve our country and execute missions that take us far from home and require extended absences from our loved ones," Cmdr. Jeff Ferlauto added.
The Bear's crew left Portsmouth to attend joint training exercises with the U.S. Navy on Jan. 31. It supported the Navy's training exercise while working off the coast of VA and the Carolinas.
In addition to interdicting millions of dollars worth of drugs, the Bear's crew also organized plans with the U.S. Coast Guard's Tactical Law Enforcement Team South Law Enforcement Detachment also known as LEDET-108.
LEDET-108 was deployed on the HMCS Saskatoon, which is a Kingston class coastal defense ship from the Canadian Navy.
This collaboration was done in an effort to help LEDET-108's seizure of 2,866 extra pounds of cocaine and there were three suspected smugglers arrested then.