U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents along with U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard personnel intercepted a semi-submersible craft carrying more than 16,870 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18.
A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft identified a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel hundreds of miles offshore in international waters. CBP and U.S Coast Guard air assets on patrol continued to monitor and track the vessel as part of a multi-faceted law enforcement effort.
A CBP crew aboard a P-3 Long Range Tracker aircraft subsequently detected a go-fast vessel in the area and alerted U.S. Coast Guard assets to intercept the vessel. A U.S. Coast Guard’s cutter’s boarding team gained control of the vessel after its helicopter employed warning shots. Additional U.S. Coast Guard personnel aboard a rigid-hulled inflatable boat boarded the semi-submersible and detained four individuals.
Law enforcement partners recovered 274 bales of cocaine weighing more than eight tons packed inside the semi-submersible drug-trafficking vessel. The estimated street value of the drugs is hundreds of millions of dollars.
Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection