Coast Guard Found Submarine Smuggling More Than 7 Tons Of Drugs
Drug smugglers were caught trying to bring in more than seven tons of cocaine to the US in a submarine off the coast of San Diego.
The US Coast Guard discussed the huge seizure as they celebrated a record-breaking year of confiscation which amounted to 39,000 pounds of cocaine -- a street value of $561 million.
Captain James Passarelli said the crew's most noteworthy seizure occurred on September 6 in the Pacific Ocean. He explained,
This was a seizure of a self-propelled drug smuggling vessel and it's a prime example of the government approach to reducing the supply of illegal drugs, dismantling dangerous criminal organizations and reducing demand here at home.
He said the crew was tracking the vessel for some time, then predicted the course it would take so they could ambush the smugglers.
Once on board, the team opened the vessel's hatch, surprised the crew and ordered them out of the vessel.
The captain said his crew then discovered the vessel was filling with sea water after the suspects tried to sink it. He continued,
The team battled the flooding for over two hours, slowly decreasing the level of flooding until it was safe to enter that vessel.
From there, they discovered more than 15,000 pounds of cocaine in the front compartment worth more than $206 million.
The crew was able to offload around 5,600 pounds (almost 3 tons) before they had to abandon the submarine and let it sink along with the rest of the contraband.
What they managed to seize was only around one third of the entire haul.
Vice admiral Fred Midgette discussed the severity of the drug epidemic in the US in a press conference, saying,
I'm sure like me, many of you have seen news of accounts of people who have overdosed in a car with their children with them. They never expected to overdose, they never expected to be addicts, they never expected to end up in that situation in life and it's incredibly sad. The grip of addiction impacts every part of our society.