USCG Unloads $223M in Cocaine, Marijuana in San Diego

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL-756) crew offloads about 11,300 pounds of cocaine and roughly 4,000 pounds of marijuana worth more than $223 million on March 31, 2022 in San Diego. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alex Gray.

Combined efforts of U.S. Coast Guard crews and a Canadian military vessel resulted in the seizure in the eastern Pacific Ocean of 11,300 pounds of cocaine and over 4,000 pounds of marijuana worth over $223 million. The drugs were unloaded from the Coast Guard cutter Kimball in San Diego on March 31.

The drugs were seized in international waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Central and South America,including contraband seized and recovered during eight interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels between late February and early March.

“At-sea interdictions of pure cocaine are the most effective way to limit cartel’s destabilizing effects throughout the Western Hemisphere,” Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Admiral Michael McAllister commented. “Coast Guard national security cutters like Kimball are the service’s most capable asset to strengthen maritime governance, but when team partners from the Royal Canadian Navy and U.S. Navy Littoral combat ships they leverage our network of international and interagency partners to reduce the availability of illicit drugs in the Western Hemisphere and facilitate U.S. Attorney’s efforts to close the cycle of justice.”

Capt. Thomas D’Arcy, the commanding officer of the Kimball, said the patrol “marks the first of likely many counter-drug patrols for Kimball, and I am extremely proud of our crew’s preparation and hard work to make this an extremely successful deployment.

The Kimball is a 420-foot Legend-Class National Security Cutter and is homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. With a range of 13,000 nautical miles.

Kimball’s crew demonstrated that through teamwork we were able to remove over $100 million dollars of cocaine, preventing it from ever crossing our borders or entering our neighborhoods, and further removing a source of illicit revenue from transnational criminal networks,” D’Arcy said. “It is not just the teams onboard Kimball that made this patrol a success; we also leveraged important collaborations with interagency partners and international allies, like the Canadian crew of Yellowknife, who expanded the reach and capabilities of our joint counter-drug team to achieve greater success together.”

U.S. agencies including the departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security participated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, plus allied and international partner agencies, all play a role in counter-drug operations.