Happy Birthday U.S. Coast Guard!

2 minutes read time
A photo of a U.S. Coast Guard chopper and boat.
A photo of a U.S. Coast Guard chopper and boat. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Happy Birthday U.S. Coast Guard!

On August 4th, the U.S. Coast Guard celebrates 228 years as the nation’s premier maritime law enforcement agency that enforces national and international law on the high seas and protects America's economic, national and border security. 

The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service is proud to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard, as it does with other branches of the armed forces and law enforcement, to carry out our mission and operations around the world.

One example of our collaboration with the Coast Guard dates back to late 2015, when the U.S. Coast Guard teamed up with us to solve a passport fraud case that started with this question: “Why would a U.S. citizen with a clean record steal the identity of a dead child?”

This DSS and USCG joint investigation revealed that Cynthia Lyerla, a Texas dinner cruise ship captain, spent more than 20 years hiding under an identity she stole from a dead, one-day-old baby. The investigation resulted in her conviction for aggravated identity theft and making false statements in a passport application for which she was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison.

Ensuring the integrity of U.S. travel documents is one central component of DSS’ mission, but it’s a mission that would not possible without partnerships and collaboration like this. DSS is proud to have a partner in the U.S. Coast Guard and joins the nation in celebrating their hard work in support of our security.

About the Author: Eric Weiner serves in the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service.

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.

For more information:

  • Read the full story on why Cynthia Lyerla was using a false identity and how DSS and USCG cracked the case visit.