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Coast Guard crew returns to Boston after $60 million Caribbean cocaine bust

The crew of the Coast Guard vessel Escanaba returned Saturday to their home port in Boston after a two-month excursion to the Caribbean where they worked with an international anti-drug smuggling operation and seized nearly 2,000 kilograms of cocaine, according to Coast Guard officials.

The Escanaba is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter with a crew of 100 that regularly engages in “maritime enforcement and homeland security missions,” the Coast Guard said in a statement on Sunday.

For 62 days it was deployed to the western Caribbean Sea as part of Operation Martillo, a “multinational detection, monitoring, and interdiction operation that consists of 20 participating nations working together to counter transnational organized crime networks and illicit trafficking in the waters along Central America," according to the statement.

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The seizure of just under 2,000 kilograms of cocaine, worth $60 million, was done in conjunction with an armed helicopter squadron and Panamanian law enforcement, according to the statement.

While deployed on the mission, the Escanaba also rescued four people from a disabled boat that had become stranded in 14-foot seas about 100 miles north of Colombia, the statement said.

Max Jungreis can be reached aat max.jungreis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MaxJungreis.


Max Jungreis can be reached at max.jungreis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MaxJungreis