Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins today applauded the U.SCoast Guard for its three recent seizures of more than 68,000 pounds of cocaine with an estimated market value of $2.1 billion. This included a record single seizure for the Coast Guard of 30,000 pounds of cocaine.

“One of the most dangerous and urgent law enforcement duties the Coast Guard performs is drug interdiction. The crews put in a lot of hard hours on the water in pursuit of drug smugglers and put their lives on the line to confront and stop them,” said Senator Collins. “I commend the members of both of these law enforcement detachments for their success on these record setting seizures and for their dedication to preventing dangerous drugs from coming into the country.

Senator Collins is the Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard.

USCG Law Enforcement Detachments intercepted the three separate fishing vessels, which were smuggling the cocaine, in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles Southwest of the Galapagos Islands. The Coast Guard has seized a record total of more than 240,000 pounds of cocaine worth over $7.7 billion in fiscal year 2004.

As the lead federal agency for maritime drug interdiction, the Coast Guard works to deny smugglers the use of air and sea routes coming into the U.S., as well as in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific. The Coast Guard works closely on anti-drug efforts with the Navy, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Departments of Justice, Defense, State, and Homeland Security.