cargo vessel Bulk Princess
Over $7 million was seized along with the
maritime vessel Bulk Princess.
Operation Journey also targeted maritime smuggling operations in Colombia
that moved their operations to Venezuela as a result of Operation
Odessa. With cooperative law enforcement amongst agencies, DEA's Operation
Journey seized more than nine tons of cocaine hidden by the DeLaVega
drug trafficking organization.
|Drug smugglers making
As a DEA surveillance aircraft makes a pass
over this go-fast boat, the traffickers try to outrun the agents.
Visible in the forward section of the boat are drums of fuel and in
the back, bags of drugs.
|DEA agent removes
bricks of cocaine from a ship
This Haitian ship was transporting drugs to
the Bahamas when it was boarded and searched. The large amount of
drugs was first stacked in the hold of the ship, then removed to a
waiting vehicle for transport by DEA to an evidence room.
||DEA on the Sea
Smuggling on the sea is one of the three main ways
that criminal groups traffic drugs. It is also one of the oldest.
Chinese immigrants became the first known drug smugglers when they
began smuggling opium in merchant cargoes and baggage. Since then,
drug smuggling by maritime routes has grown in size, scope and sophistication.
It is estimated that over nine million shipping containers arrive
on large cargo ships each year and another 157,000 arrive on smaller
vessels in many coastal towns across the U.S. These criminal groups
smuggle cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine and marijuana.
The Early Twentieth Century
U.S. Coast Guard Destroyer Terry
(seen below) was an early 20th Century, 742 ton, three-stack oil burner
commissioned in June 1925. She patrolled the waters until October
1930 when she was decommissioned and returned to the Navy. Seen here
in 1926 flanking the French rum schooner, Mistinguett, on the North
Atlantic Coast outside the twelve-mile limit. Smugglers with foreign
registries could not be seized on the high seas until contact was
made by fast speedboats that smuggled the contraband into port. This
"trailing" method proved most effective.
Drug Trade Continues
continues to patrol the waters in partnership with the U.S. Coast
Guard and the military. To the right features images from recent history
of DEA continuing to track and capture drug smugglers and the illegal
drugs. DEA will continue to seek and destroy the drug trade until
it is abolished.
Foreign Field Divisions
DEA El Paso Intelligence Center