JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When the USS Carr returned to Naval Station Mayport it brought back with it 1.5 tons of cocaine and almost 2 tons of marijuana seized during the ship's most recent deployment.
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate returned with its haul with an estimated street value of $114.1 million Friday morning.
Bill Austin, Public Affairs Officer for Naval Station Mayport, said the drug seizures were conducted as part of Operations Martillo in Central American waters.
Austin said since Operation Martillo began in January 2012 more than 134 tons of cocaine has been seized with an estimated street value of nearly $3.3 billion.
The operation's goal is to slow the spread of organized crime in Central America and the use of Central American waterways and southern approaches to Mexico and U.S. as ways to smuggle drugs, weapons and cash into the country.
Austin said U.S. law enforcement will take custody of the drugs and then transfer, test and dispose of the illicit substances.
The drugs were seized during six disruptions and interdictions, Austin said, and not all at once.
Austin said the narcotics that enter the U.S. through Mexico and Central America make up more than 80 percent of narcotics entering the country.
Some facts about the drug seizure:
- 3,060 pounds (1.5 tons) of cocaine was offloaded. The cocaine has an estimated street value of $113 million.
- The offload of cocaine is equal to 6 million doses of cocaine. A dose is considered to be the same amount as a packet of sugar or sweetener.
- 3,676 pounds of marijuana was offloaded from the USS Carr with an estimated street value of $1.1 million.
- The offload of marijuana is equal to more than 3 million marijuana cigarettes.
- Since Operation Martillo began in January 2012, more than 134 tons of cocaine has been interdicted with an estimated street value of $3.3 billion.
- USS Carr will return to Norfolk, Virginia, December 3. This was the ship's final deployment as it is scheduled to be decommissioned next spring.
- Other units that helped support Operation Martillo include U.S. Fourth Fleet, Naval Station Mayport; Helicopter Squadron 48, NAS Jacksonville (aboard USS Carr); U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, Cecil Field, Jacksonville; Naval Criminal Investigations Service, Jacksonville.
First Coast News