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USS Chung-Hoon Seizes 5.5 Tons of Drugs in Gulf of Aden

Members of the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon’s (DDG-93) visit, board, search and seizure team (VBSS) board a stateless dhow that was transporting 11,000 pounds of illicit drugs in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 27, 2018.

More than 5.5 tons of hashish were seized by the crew of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) while patrolling the Gulf of Aden.

Chung-Hoon is one of several ships conducting security patrols along suspected maritime smuggling routes in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The patrols are to interdict clandestine shipments heading into Yemen and Somalia, according to the Navy.

“It’s critical in an effort to curb the ongoing shipments of illicit weapons and narcotics,” Cmdr. Brent Jackson, the commanding officer of Chung-Hoon, said in a statement. “I am grateful that Chung-Hoon was able to play a small part in an ongoing effort to deter and limit these illicit shipments of contraband.”

Following a flag verification boarding of the vessel on Dec. 27, Chung-Hoon’s crew determined the vessel was stateless. After removing the narcotics, Chung-Hoon’s crew allowed the vessel and crew to leave the area, according to the Navy.

The U.S. Navy coordinates such interdictions with several partner nations as part of a task force patrolling the region to stop the flow of illicit weapons and narcotics. By restricting the flow of illegal drugs, the Navy and task force partner nations cut off an important source of funding for terrorist organizations operating in the region. In 2017, the partnership seized 19.17 tons of narcotics, according to the task force.

In 2016, the Navy seized a shipment of weapons bound for Houthi rebel fighters in Yemen. A boarding team from Cyclone-class patrol craft USS Sirocco (PC-6) seized 1,500 AK-47s automatic rifles, 200 RPG launchers and 21 .50-caliber machine guns in the hold of an unflagged stateless vessel in the Persian Gulf. The weapons were believed to have been shipped from Iran, according to the Navy.

  • Ed L

    sounds like a sink ex is in the making

  • Since when did they raise the Coast Guard flag

    • Refguy

      CG boarding party?

  • ElmCityAle

    “After removing the narcotics, Chung-Hoon’s crew allowed the vessel and crew to leave the area” – common, admit it, at least someone else is imagining the possibilities of that approach and chuckling. And BTW, hashish is not a narcotic class drug.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Legally speaking, the term “narcotic” is imprecisely defined and typically has negative connotations. When used in a legal context in the U.S., a narcotic drug is one that is totally prohibited, such as heroin, or one that is used in violation of governmental regulation.

      Hashish, which is made from marijuana, is a Schedule 1 drug in the US. Schedule 1 (Class I) drugs are illegal because they have high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns; for example, narcotics such as Heroin, LSD, and cocaine. Marijuana is also included as a Class 1 drug despite it being legal in some states and it being used as a medicinal drug in some states.

  • Duane

    I wasn’t familiar with the name Chung-Hoon, so had to look it up. Quite an interesting fellow this ship was named after.

  • NavySubNuke

    A stateless vessel it may be but those drugs came from somewhere.
    Hopefully we collected full biometrics for each crew member. It sure seems like we are letting them off lightly by letting them keep their ship this time…. but what about next time?

    • RDF

      That picture looks like some ship they got. How long do you think they lived after they returned to their homeport with no money, and no hashish?

  • publius_maximus_III

    Are those copper plates on the hull? What for?

    • waveshaper1

      I think that’s the natural color of the weathered/oiled/unpainted – wood they us to construct the hull?

      • publius_maximus_III

        Was just reading a Wikipedia article on the subject. Apparently copper sheathing is an old-old means of preventing marine life from attaching itself to, or attacking (worms), a wooden hull, especially in warm tropical waters. Nothing new under the sun.

        • johnbull

          That’s right. I grew up around boats on the coast and as a kid bottom paints for boats had a small amount of copper in them to make them anti-fouling.

  • CHENG1087

    Does “stateless” mean “pirate”? If so, arrest the crew and remove them from their vessel. Then, sink it as a “hazard to navigation.” Letting them go just means they will pick up another mega-load of dope an probably be successful on their next trip. Sink the boats!

    • old guy

      EXACTLY!

  • kevin bjornson

    Actually, this interdiction is a gift to terrorists, who now will see an increased demand for their caravan protection services. More money will be made available to Jihadists, because prohibition vastly increases prices of the prohibited goods.

    We need to focus on actual effects, not intentions. If someone hands me $1000 while cursing me, I will be glad. If someone stabs me while blessing me, I will be sad.

    Humans should not be Pavlov dogs. Unfortunately, many associate negative effects (the shock) with drugs (the bell). While in reality, the “shock” is delivered by prohibition; as the drugs themselves, if legal, do not subsidize terrorism. At worst, they hurt the health of drug consumers (and cause accidents); at best, cannabis is a health aid and a better alternative than alcohol.

    Although semi-civilization is at war with Jihadism, and prohibition does provide aid and comfort to the enemy, anti-drug warriors cannot be charged with treason only if they do not comprehend that what they are doing is counter-productive in counter-terrorism. Once the actual effects of prohibition are proven and communicated, those receiving this knowledge have a duty to refuse to commit unconstitutional actions which violate natural justice and subsidize terrorism. Or, potentially, they could be charged with treason and piracy.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Quite a long and windy justification of your (assumed) predilection to smoking weed. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” — Wm. Shakespeare

      • SDW

        So,… I guess you wouldn’t be in favor of destroying it in a controlled burn?

        • publius_maximus_III

          Strap it to some depth charges and let ‘er rip.

    • publius_maximus_III

      BTW, as a conservative somewhere just to the right of the dinosaur, I generally have no beef with Libertarians — but restriction or elimination of drug laws is one of them.

  • Ed L

    Spread the stuff all over the Desert

  • publius_maximus_III

    My stock response to those who wish to eliminate drug laws is why stop there? Let’s eliminate speed laws, too. Sure, there may be an increase in motor vehicle deaths directly attributable to said action, but WUH HEY, at least we are free to do what we want to do without somebody telling us it isn’t good for us. As for comparing pot to alcohol, we have pretty reliable objective means for telling when someone is driving under the influence — blood alcohol level — despite some being able to hold their liquor better than others. But pot is such a complex chemical, with several components that have no established legal limits, how would you address that first practical hurdle?

    • kevin bjornson

      The critical issue should be, not what people had for lunch, but are they intoxicated while driving. There are sobriety tests for that. Unfortunately, most states that have “legalized” pot require blood samples and absurdly low per se limits on THC. Of course, when the roads are “privatized”, these issues will be dealt with by the new owners/builders/maintainers of the roads.

      There were no such sobriety tests for drivers of chariots in the Roman Republic. Though there was a Publis Maximus who was appointed dictator, who presumably found some other way to assert his august authority.

  • publius_maximus_III

    see above, homi

    • kevin bjornson

      You didn’t answer SDW’s question: how should the hashish be destroyed? Controlled burning? Wouldn’t that poison the atmosphere with carbon gases?

      • publius_maximus_III

        Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, unto nature what is nature’s.

        • kevin bjornson

          Not all statutes are in accord with Jus Naturale or Jus Gentium. There must be a universal objective standard by which positive laws are evaluated, or we are faced with the reductio ad absurdum that all statutes are equally just or moral.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Speaking of Bro. Genghis, did you realize a very significant portion of today’s Asian population has genetic markers directly traceable back to old “Mr. Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em”? Learned that factoid at an exhibit on Genghis Khan and the Mongols that came to town one month.

    I think he must’ve been a sailor at heart.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Hope they hid a GPS tracker somewhere safe. Easier to spot them on repeat attempts.