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The USCG and a Drug Laden Go-Fast Boat

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I recently retired from a federal drug law enforcement agency and I want to share my spoil of war. In the 1990s I was assigned to the American Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In March 1998 the USCG Cutter Bear made a seizure of approximately 1,369 kilograms of cocaine from a go-fast boat off the Honduran Caribbean coastline. Along with the cocaine, the USCG seized the go-fast boat and four subjects. What was thought to be a seizure in international waters, actually occurred in Honduran waters. The USCG initially wanted to handover a drug sample, the go-fast boat and the subjects over to the Honduran Government for prosecution. The Honduran government wanted the total amount of the cocaine, subjects and the go-fast boat. A decision was made in Washington D.C. to hand over everything to the Honduran government.


Me and my partner were dispatched to La Ceiba, Honduras to assist in the transfer of the evidence and subjects from the USCG to the host nation government. I recall the host nation authorities using the go-fast boat to ferry me, my colleague and other personnel from a pier in Trujillo to the USCG Cutter Bear which was anchored in Trujillo Bay. We used the jacob’s ladder to get ourselves from the go-fast boat to the deck of the Bear. The waters were choppy and I did not want to fall and get stuck or crushed between the go-fast and the Bear. We met with the Captain and other officers of the Bear to coordinate the transfer. When everything was said and done, my host nation counterparts gave me the flag from the vessel, a nautical map used by the crew of the go-fast boat and some of the metal rings. The metal rings were used in conjunction with a nylon type of rope to hold the bales of cocaine together. The cocaine was burned on a beach near La Ceiba. Approximately 45 days later, the bad guys escaped from prison.

I have great admiration for what the US Coast Guardsmen do on the high seas. I was surprised to see how small the helipad was on the USCG Cutter Bear. There isn’t much room for error when landing at night on a moving ship. Those USCG pilots have to be very good in what they do.


The framed Colombian Flag from the go-fast boat, a photo of the go-fast boat, and personnel sitting on the bales of cocaine. The bales were stacked high that the feet did not touch the floor.




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Great trophy,


Here's the USCGC BEAR patch in my collection


Medium Endurance Cutter USCGC BEAR (WMEC-901) Commissioned in 1983, homeport Portsmouth, VA https://www.atlanticarea.uscg.mil/Area-Cutters/CGCBEAR/

WMEC 901 USCGC BEAR 001.jpg

WMEC 901 USCGC BEAR 002.jpg

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"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. … Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new, wonderful good society’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean ‘more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.' "

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)


"I had a chance to see the American Army, man for man... It is incredible that soldiers composed of men of every age, even children of fifteen, of whites and blacks, unpaid and rather poorly fed, can march so fast and withstand fire so steadfastly."

-- Baron J. C. L. von Closen, White Plains, New York, July 1781

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This is as cool as they come. Very nicely displayed. Thanks for sharing.




- Vietnam CISO/SOG Knife Collector -


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Great memorabilia from the War on Drugs.. Brings back memories of service at Joint Task Force 6 under General Barry McCaffrey..


Congrats on the retirement...


Hope to see you soon



"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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Fascinating post and wonderful tribute to a very dangerous job & duty assignment that does not receive the attention is deserves. Thank you for posting and for your service!



Collector of WWI US Navy "Donald Duck" Caps and Hat Tallies - Looking for Tallies from the USS Carp & USS Chauncey

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