Charleston-based Coast Guard crew returns home after drug seizures

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's more than 350 feet long, takes on the war on drugs and it's back at its home port in the holy city.

The Coast Guard cutter Gallatin returned home on Wednesday after a 76 day deployment in the Caribbean Sea and Florida straits patrolling the water and stopping drug smugglers.

"We were out with binoculars scouting the area and I could see people on board this small vessel," Seaman Lukas Gonzalez said of one drug bust. "I could see there was a tarp covering something. So when we got closer and finally they realized 'Wait that's a big Coast Guard vessel.' They tried to get away from us, zig zagging and throwing bails of marijuana out."

"It feels good, any part that we do overall to stop drugs from coming onto the streets of the U.S. is a win for us," said Operations Specialist Matthew Bonneau. "The fact that we were able to get five busts in one patrol was extraordinary."

Crew members onboard the Gallatin waited patiently and eagerly to arrive back home.

They will stay home here in Charleston for two or three months before being deployed again.

The Gallatin will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of her commissioning on Dec. 20.

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