Sunday, July 12, 2009

Coast Guard cutter makes drug bust off Guatemala

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Coast Guard says a cutter based in Alameda has seized two speedboats, recovered a bale of cocaine and detained four suspected smugglers off the coast of Guatemala.

The bust was made Wednesday night by the cutter Bertholf about 80 miles from the Central American nation.

Officials say four boats were spotted by a patrol aircraft before a marksman aboard a Coast Guard helicopter shot out the engines of 2 speedboats.

Crews on interceptor boats from the Bertholf then boarded the two disabled boats and took the suspected smugglers into custody.

It is the first drug bust by the crew of the Bertholf since the vessel was commissioned in August of 2008.

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