ATTLEBORO — An Attleboro native is serving on a destroyer that was involved in a large weapons seizure off the coast of Somalia, the U.S. Navy said Monday.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Iadonisi, a 2009 graduate of Attleboro High School, was aboard the USS Winston S. Churchill during the operation, which occurred in international waters in the Indian Ocean on Feb. 11 and 12.
Sailors on the guided-missile destroyer seized the illicit shipments of weapons and weapons components from two stateless sailing vessels during a maritime security operation, the Navy said in a news release.
“The cache of weapons consisted of thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, light machine guns, heavy sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and crew-served weapons. Other weapon components included barrels, stocks, optical scopes and weapon systems,” the release said.
The original source of the weapons has not yet been identified.
The crews on the boats were provided food and water before being released, the Navy said.
The operation was conducted as part of the Navy’s regular maritime security operations in the region.
The routine patrols are performed to ensure the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic and to disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and unlawful activity, the Navy said.