Portsmouth based cutter helps Bahamians in drug bust

U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area
Story by Monica Leftwich

Date: 01.30.2010
Posted: 01.30.2010 12:33
News ID: 44649
US Coast Guard Personnel Assist in Drug Bust Off of the Bahamas

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Two law-enforcement boarding teams from the Coast Guard Cutter Forward assisted Royal Bahamian Police Force officials and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents Jan. 27 in locating cocaine and marijuana hidden within a Haitian-flagged vessel.

The crew of the Forward detected the 65-foot motor vessel Lady Tamara running without its navigational lights energized at night from Haiti to the Bahamas, and notified Royal Bahamian Police Force officials of the vessel entering Bahamian territorial seas.

Royal Bahamian Police Force officials contacted the Coast Guard for technical assistance with the dockside boarding of the Lady Tamara in Matthew Town, Bahamas. During the course of the boarding, crews located more than 360 pounds of cocaine and 46 pounds of marijuana hidden within the vessel's fuel tank. All five Haitian crewmembers and the contraband were transferred to Bahamian officials for further investigation.

"This is another excellent example of international cooperation among law-enforcement agencies working together to keep illegal drugs off the streets," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Diane Durham, commanding officer of the cutter Forward.

The cutter Forward is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.