Alameda Cutter Home after 82-Day Patrol
The Alameda-based national security cutter Bertholf and crew returned home Monday following a 82-day counter-narcotics patrol to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) returned to its homeport at Coast Guard Island after offloading more than 18,000 pounds of cocaine in San Diego worth more than an estimated $312 million on Dec. 18.
The drugs represented seven separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions by five Coast Guard cutter crews patrolling international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America between mid-October and early December.
Bertholf’s crew was responsible for three interdictions, seizing 5,851 pounds of cocaine worth more than an estimated $100 million.
Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer, Southern District of California and Principal Deputy Administrator Preston Grubbs, Drug Enforcement Agency addressed Bertholf’s crew prior to the offload.
“This offload demonstrates another successful example of the ‘Cycle of Justice,’” said Fagan. “This cycle begins with intelligence-driven detection and monitoring of illicit activities that then cue the interdiction and apprehension of smugglers and contraband, and ultimately leads to criminal prosecution. This ‘Cycle of Justice’ disrupts a ‘Cycle of Crime,’ which left unchecked, fuels violence and instability that corrodes our Hemisphere’s social and economic fabric, and directly contributes to historically high drug-related deaths in neighborhoods across North America.”
The USCG Bertholf is named for Commodore Ellsworth P. Bertholf, fourth commandant of both the Revenue Cutter Service and Coast Guard. He served from 1887 to 1919.