On Thursday, The U.S. Coast Guard made a huge bust and managed to seize 20 tons of cocaine from sea traffickers. The agency set a record this year by confiscating $5.6 billion worth of drugs over the past 12 months.
Based in Alameda in the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard ship called the Waesche intercepted a drug smuggling vessel, which they described as a "self-propelled semisubmersible" or SPSS.
The Coast Guard confiscated 5,600 pounds of cocaine, or two tons, which had a street value of $73 million, according to Daily Mail.
The bust reveals the sophisticated methods in which the dealers are attempting to smuggle drugs in the country. With its low-profile approach, the SPSS is extremely difficult to detect and is designed for illegal trafficking.
Despite trying to sink the vessel, five smugglers aboard the SPSS were apprehended by the Coast Guard.
Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific area said: "With every interdiction, we learn more about transnational organized crime networks that generate profit and generate power from a laundry list of illicit activities." Midgette continued by saying, "Coast guard men and women not only keep drugs off U.S. streets, but they combat the influence of these criminal networks that spread violence and instability throughout the Western Hemisphere."
In this year alone, this is the sixth SPSS vessel that the authorities have intercepted. In these unique submarine-type ships, the hull of the vessel is mostly submerged under the surface. The crew operates in a cockpit with an exhaust pipe hanging just above the water line.
USCG officials explained during a briefing abord the docked cutter Waesche at Naval Base San Diego that they have seized roughly 416,000 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Central and South America during the just-ended fiscal year, according to ABC 10.
"Our coast guardsmen face significant risks posed by dangerous criminal organizations," the commanding officer of the Waesche, Capt. James Passarelli said. "Our crew preserved valuable evidence and kept millions of dollars of illicit narcotics off America's streets."
Between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016, the Coast Guard arrested 585 suspected drug smugglers attempting to bring illegal substances into the country.
"Coast Guard men and women not only keep drugs off U.S. streets, but they combat the influence of these criminal networks that spread violence and instability throughout the Western Hemisphere," Midgette said.0comments
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