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U.S. Coast Guard releases video showing $200 million cocaine bust

March 30, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. Coast Guard releases video showing $200 million cocaine bust

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A video released by the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday shows the captures of four suspected drug traffickers sitting with their hands in the air on top of a semi-submersible or “narco sub” hauling $200 million in cocaine on March 3rd.

The vessel had been first spotted by an interdiction Customs and Border Protection airplane patrolling the Pacific off the coast of Panama.

The aircrew guided the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf from Alameda, California to the area. Initial reports that the submersible sank with the cocaine board were inaccurate.

CBP officials revealed how Guardsmen had to enter the vessel numerous times to retrieve the massive cocaine shipment and other evidence on board, including a loaded gun in the cockpit.

According to Lt. Donnie Brzuska, the cocaine seized has a street value estimated at more than $200 million.

In 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted five submarine-like, mostly submerged vessels, except for the cockpit and exhaust pipe, which sits visibly above water.

Because of the difficulty in detecting semi-submersibles’ waterline profile, drug smugglers have been increasingly utilizing the method of transport to ship large quantities of narcotics

“SPSS interdictions are inherently dangerous, yet we persevere to disrupt the funding sources of transnational criminal organizations causing violence and instability in Central America,” said Capt. Laura Collins, commanding officer of the Cutter Bertholf.

The U.S. Coast Guard often assists in drugs seizures in the Eastern Pacific along with other U.S. law enforcement agencies.

In January, a Washington-based Coast Guard crew intercepted a semi-submersible submarine off the Mexican-Guatemalan border. The suspects, in that case, scuttled the smuggling vessel but were apprehended, Brzuska said.

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