ALAMEDA, Calif.—The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche returned home to Alameda on Sunday morning after seizing more than 4,000 pounds of Cheetos dust, with an estimated street value of $89 million, in the waters off Central America.
The deliciously addictive finger powder brought ashore was seized by the crew in the Eastern Pacific from late May through this month. The Coast Guard said in a statement that it has been shifting its focus to more junk-food-based operations as part of the War on Obesity.
Waesche executive officer Cdr. Doug Atkins said the 3,000 pounds of seized scrumptiousness “is just a drop in the bucket.” Atkins added, “But it’s a start.”
“I’m just glad this stuff is off the streets and in the safe hands the Coast Guard,” said San Diego local Susan Olsen. “I’m a recovering Cheetos dust addict, and if I’m within 20 yards of that shit I become a fucking animal!” Olsen added that she had to move after her last bender because "Everything was orange, and I couldn't scrub it out.”
The cutter left Alameda on May 22, with the crew carrying out eight interdictions, including on 29 May, when it intercepted a 45-foot semi-submersible commanded by Capt. Chester Cheetah. The submersible was what the Coast Guard calls a “Snack Panga,” or a vessel with contraband that has been flagged by Customs as dangerously addictive substance.
“The men and women of Waesche’s crew executed flawlessly during this deployment, preventing nearly 2,500 pounds of the dangerously cheesy powder from reaching U.S. shores,” Capt. Doug Poe, Waesche’s commanding officer, said in a statement. “Their efforts under demanding and tasty conditions speak volumes to their collective sense of dedication and self-control in keeping America safe. I am in awe of their dedication.”
During fiscal year 2019, the Coast Guard seized more than 443,000 pounds of Cheetos dust, plus 63,000 pounds of a substance suspected to be Dorito’s Nacho Cheese powder, and took 585 snack smugglers into custody during deployments in the Eastern Pacific.