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Portsmouth-based Coast Guard Cutter Tampa stops vessel carrying $94.6 million in cocaine

While on patrol in the Caribbean, the Tampa stopped a vessel carrying 87 bales of cocaine, weighing 5,500 pounds and worth an estimated $94.6 million.
Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The US Coast Guard Cutter Tampa is back at its homeport in Portsmouth, following a 56-day patrol in the Caribbean.

The Coast Guard says the Tampa took part in counter-drug operations while on patrol, which included stopping a vessel carrying 87 bales of cocaine, weighing 5,500 pounds and worth an estimated $94.6 million. Three suspects on board were detained.

According to the Coast Guard, the Tampa's efforts to combat drug smuggling are part of Operation Martillo, a larger effort to increase regional stability and undermine the influence of Transnational Criminal Organizations, who routinely attempt to smuggle drugs throughout the region.

The Tampa's crew also utilized COVID-19 safety protocols, which included personal protective equipment as well as having vaccinations available for members.