A Coast Guard cutter assisted by a Jacksonville, Florida based helicopter crew intercepted a speedboat with nearly 3,000 pounds of cocaine on board and captured four suspected smugglers off the coast of Honduras Tuesday.
During a patrol, the crew from the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron located the 35-foot boat in international waters. During the pursuit that involved the cutter Resolute, the Hondurans onboard the speedboat jumped into the water but were captured by a pursuit boat crew dispatched from the cutter.
The pursuit crew was able to stop the unmanned speedboat that had 53 bales of cocaine valued at an estimated $35 million, according to the Coast Guard.
The helicopter squadron is deployed with the Resolute as part of Operation Martillo that performs drug, gun-running and other interdiction units in Central American waters.