Crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf interdicted a low-profile go-fast vessel while patrolling international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in November 2019 and seized more than 3,100 pounds of suspected cocaine from the vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard/TNS)

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard on Wednesday began unloading about 18,000 pounds of cocaine — with a street value of more than $312 million — at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal that had been seized recently from smuggling vessels in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were taken in several interdictions of low-profile go-fast boats and a self-propelled submersible known as a "narco submarine" found off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America by five Coast Guard cutters patrolling international waters, officials said. The seizures were made between mid-October and early December.

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Rodeback surveys strawberry selections in the commissary at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 8, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Candace Williams)

Starting New Year's Day, more than 3 million veterans nationwide, including tens of thousands of local veterans, will be able to shop at exchanges and commissaries on military bases and utilize their recreation facilities.

A new law makes veterans who are registered with the Veterans Affairs healthcare system and who have service-connected disabilities eligible to access those facilities on military bases. Purple Heart recipients and former POWs also will have shopping privileges and access.

In San Diego, almost 65,000 more veterans and caregivers are affected, the VA says.

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Civil rights leader and former Navy officer Harvey Milk (left) during a 1978 visit to Gay Pride San Jose (Wikimedia Commons / Ted Stahl)

SAN DIEGO — Construction began Friday on the future Harvey Milk, a fleet oiler named for the slain gay rights leader and the first openly gay man elected in California.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1978 and was assassinated 10 months later by an ex-supervisor. His life was the subject of the 2008 film "Milk."

Almost 30 years before his election, Milk was a Navy dive officer based in San Diego. His nephew, Stuart Milk, attended Friday's event and said naming the ship after his uncle sends a message to people around the world.

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BALBOA PARK — A man who drove past a gate at Naval Medical Center San Diego was injured Monday night when security officers fired at the man's charging dog and missed, grazing the man in the ankle instead, a Navy spokesman said.

The shooting occurred around 8:45 p.m. near the Naval hospital's main gate at Bob Wilson Drive off Florida Drive, Navy Region Southwest spokesman Brian O'Rourke said.

The man apparently drove up to the entrance, and instead of stopping for the guards, continued driving, O'Rourke said. The guards deployed a barrier that stopped the vehicle, the man got out and some sort of altercation ensued.

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Investigators are looking into whether a sailor killed himself after an activist group posted a video of him online that purportedly showed him trying to solicit a minor, Task & Purpose has learned.

Task & Purpose is withholding the sailor's name while the investigation into his death is ongoing.

Navy Department officials declined to comment until the investigation is complete.

Based in San Diego, the private group CC_Unit – short for "Creep Catcher Unit" – uses decoy accounts to pose as children on dating apps and then makes videos confronting people who respond that they want to have sex with minors, said the group's founder, who goes by the alias "Ghost."

"I've always been a big fan of Chris Hansen and 'To Catch a Predator,'" Ghost, who declined to give his real name, told Task & Purpose. "I always grew up with girls that have been victims of sexual abuse and abuse in general. Now that I'm a bit older – I'm 21 – I can actually make a difference, make a change."

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(Courtesy photo)

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.

Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.

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