Tag: Florida

Coast Guard Cutter James offloads approximately 30,000 pounds of cocaine, marijuana at Port Everglades


The Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) crew offloaded approximately 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana, all worth more than an estimated $408 million, on Tuesday in Port Everglades.

The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and in the Caribbean Sea including contraband seized and recovered during 11 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels by four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships:

“The roughly 15 tons of illicit narcotics being offloaded here today and the likely ensuing prosecutions, are the results of extraordinary teamwork and intelligence-driven operations,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard. “It is important to note that our fellow citizens aren’t the only ones who benefit from these counter-narcotics efforts. Our Central American neighbors face tremendous strain from drug-fueled violence sparked by transnational criminal organizations. Efforts like this enhanced counter-drug operation significantly disrupt the criminal activity destabilizing the region.”

On April 1, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives.

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime.

The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations. 

The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 11th District, headquartered in Alameda, California, and the law enforcement phase of operations in the Caribbean is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard 7th District, headquartered in Miami.

The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

The cutter James is a 418-foot national security cutter home ported in Charleston, South Carolina.

The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Key West, Florida.  

The cutter Escanaba is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Boston. The cutter Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Port Canaveral, Florida.

The USS Pinckney is a 510-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer home ported in Naval Base San Diego.

The USS Lassen is a 510-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer home ported in Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

US Coast Guard (June 2020) Coast Guard Cutter James offloads approximately 30,000 pounds of cocaine, marijuana at Port Everglades

Chinese Nationals Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Photography of U.S. Naval Installation in Key West, Florida


On Friday, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office announced that three People’s Republic of China (PRC) foreign nationals were sentenced today to prison terms for illegal photography of military installations at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida (NAS Key West).  

Lyuyou Liao,27, was sentenced to the statutory maximum term of 12 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release, after pleading guilty to illegally entering NAS Key West on December 26, 2019, and taking photographs and video footage of property on the Truman Annex of the station.

This included taking images of vital military equipment. (Case No. 20-10002-CR-KMM ).

In a separate case, Jielun Zhang,25,and Yuhao Wang,24, were sentenced to 12 months and nine months in prison, respectively, to be followed by one year of supervised release, after pleading guilty to illegally entering NAS Key West on January 4, 2020, and taking photographs of military and naval infrastructure located on the Sigbsbee Park and Trumbo Point Annexes of the station. (Case No. 20-10005-CR-KMM).  

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). 

She also commended the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Key West Police Department for their assistance.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kobrinski prosecuted this case. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Justice.gov (June 2020) Three Chinese Nationals Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Photography of U.S. Naval Installation in Key West, Florida