Crewmembers of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton pulled into port at San Diego Thursday with more than $721 million worth of cocaine, more than 47,000 pounds, from 23 interdictions in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America.
“The threat of transnational organized crime is a danger no one ship, agency, country or person can address alone,” said Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, the commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area.
“We stand alongside our interagency and international partners resolved in a shared purpose to protect those harmed by these dangerous drugs and bring the criminals who smuggle them to justice,” the admiral said.
The haul aboard Stratton, home ported in Alameda, California, included seizures by Canada’s HMCS Nanaimo, homeported in Esquimalt, British Colombia, as well as from five interdictions by the Astoria, Oregon-based Cutter Steadfast, five from the Key West, Florida-based Cutter Mohawk, five from Portsmouth, Virginia-base Cutter Northland and two from Key West-based Cutter Thetis.
Stratton’s own haul of 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $165 million was from five interdictions during its two-month patrol, including stopping two low profile go-fast boats in three days. The go-fast boats were found with more than $5,800 pounds of coke worth more than $78 million.
The Coast Guard said its success is the product of new tactics.
Beginning in June, Coast Guard ships have stopped 13 of these low profile go-fast boats and two self-propelled semi-submersible barges. These go-fast boats are a new generation of speed boats that are modified for smuggling with hulls lying extremely in the water in order to reduce their radar signature.
These go-fast boats have multiple engines to generate high speeds and are painted so as to blend into the water.
Watch this Coast Guard video of the offload of more than 47,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $721 million:
NEW: Joe Biden Bashes Incoming Trump Administration In Leaked 2016 Call to President of Ukraine
Joe Biden speaks in critical and partisan terms of the incoming Trump administration in a new leaked call to the President of Ukraine unveiled Wednesday.
In the call, conducted in November 2016 a week after then-candidate Trump’s election victory, Biden bashes the incoming administration to the foreign leader, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden assails the Trump transition team as incompetent, turning down the idea of visiting the country before the January transition before Trump is “fully briefed” on matters related to Ukraine.
In a second call, Biden asks for Poroshenko to describe his conversations with incoming President Trump, going to to speak of Trump in more dismissive terms. He describes Trump as a “dog who caught the car, and who doesn’t know what to do.” Not quite a “dog-faced pony soldier,” but definitely not an appropriate way for an outgoing vice president to describe an incoming president to a foreign leader.
A Ukrainian comedian originally released the calls, suggesting questionable operational security within the conversations of Joe Biden and Poroshenko. Biden has a lengthy history of ethical questions regarding his relationship with Ukraine, including looking the other way as his son Hunter secured an extremely lucrative position at a Ukrainian oil company without any experience whatsoever in the energy industry.
Biden himself would later go on to demand the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations against the younger Biden, a clear conflict of interest Biden merely dismissed when he spoke openly of securing the prosecutor’s firing at a Council on Foreign Relations public event.
This is a totally inappropriate way for a Vice President to speak to a foreign leader, and the public should be concerned about how Biden plans to conduct diplomacy should he be elected President.
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