FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

Feds Seize $180M in Cocaine from Drug Sub

August 01, 2011  | 


Photo: U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard and FBI intercepted a semi-submersible craft in the western Caribbean and seized $180 million worth of cocaine heading for the United States, the agency announced Monday.

The joint operation involved the Coast Guard cutter Seneca, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection C-130 fixed-wing plane, the FBI's dive team and the Honduran Navy.

The drug-smuggling semi-submersible vessel (SPSS) was seized July 13, according to a release. The operation began when the crew of the C-130 spotted a suspicious vessel and notified U.S. CBP.

The vessel sank during the interdiction. However, the vessel was eventually located by the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Oak on July 26 using side-sonar equipment. The FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team then recovered nearly 15,000 pounds of contraband worth an estimated street value of $180 million from the sunken vessel.

"Working on a buoy deck is dangerous enough; but this unique mission involved blending dive operations, boat operations, and deck operations at the same time," said Lt. Cmdr. Peter Niles, Oak's commanding officer. "The equipment the FBI brought to the Oak and their dive teams were essential to locate the SPSS and recover its cargo."

Built in the FARC-controlled jungles of Colombia, the typical SPSS is less than 100 feet in length, requires five crewmembers, and carries up to 10 metric tons of illicit cargo for distances up to 5,000 miles. The five crew members were arrested, after they scuttled the vessel, reports the Miami Herald.

Drug traffickers design SPSS to rapidly sink when they detect law enforcement thereby making contraband recovery difficult. These vessels are responsible for the movement of nearly one-third of all cocaine in the transit zone.

"Medium-endurance cutters like the Seneca are built for sustained offshore patrols and helicopter and pursuit boat operations such as this," said Rear Adm. William Baumgartner, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami. "They provide a key capability for the nation's homeland security operations at sea and allow us to fight the threats to our homeland security before they arrive at our doorstep."

By Paul Clinton

Tags: FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, Smuggling, Drug Trafficking


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

FrankD @ 8/1/2011 7:32 PM

So what happened to the five skumbag crew members?

Badshot1951 @ 8/1/2011 9:24 PM

"So what happened to the five skumbag crew members?"
Glug, glug, glug, gone to live in Davy Jones Locker.

GP Cobb @ 8/2/2011 12:06 AM

I doubt GLug Glug, I'd like to see a full report, if they were in the sub, let's see the bodies, of not who picked them up? Another fishy story?

Bilko @ 8/3/2011 3:45 AM

Come on Paul, the readers want to know the rest of the story? Any arrests? Dont take no comment or we'll look into that for an awnser. It's called Public Records Act!

WebEdPaul @ 8/3/2011 9:23 AM

We've updated this story with the arrests of the 5 crew members. Thanks for reading!

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

LAPD's Most Wanted Fugitive Found Through Facebook
For 11 years, Eduardo Rodriguez was one of Los Angeles' most wanted fugitives, an alleged...
Video: LAPD Kills Man After Running Gun Battle, Vehicle Pursuit
LAPD officers shot and killed a man early Sunday morning after he fired on police and SWAT...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine