Watch the US Coast Guard board a narco-sub carrying 16,000 pounds of cocaine

The US Coast Guard seized more than $500 million in drugs over the past 2 months as part of an organized crime investigation.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 10:20 PM

Talk about a high stakes intervention.

The US Coast Guard released a video on Thursday that showed exactly how one might intercept a fast-moving narco-sub on the high seas -- netting over 16,000 pounds of cocaine in the process.

The event, a video of which was released on July 11, took place on June 18 in the East Pacific Ocean. In the minute-long video, a member of the Coast Guard is heard yelling at a semi-submersible vessel tearing through the ocean -- a half underwater and half exposed vessel -- and demanding it stop.

Members of the guard then jump on the submarine-like boat, eventually forcing the top open to reveal the smugglers inside.

The Coast Guard only catches 11 percent of drug-filled semi-submersible vessels

In the last four years, there's been an increase in drug cartels from Central and South America using these semi-submersible vessels, Lt. Commander Stephen Brickey told CNN.

These vessels are relatively rare. They're expensive to build, and cartels have to build them deep in jungles to avoid detection. Once they're filled with drugs and deployed, Brickey said they're almost impossible to detect without prior intelligence or an aircraft.

"They blend in," he said. "Most of the vessel is underwater, so it's hard to pick out. They're painted blue. They match the water."

Even if the Coast Guard does manage to catch the vessel, they have to be quick. Every vessel is built with the ability to sink and destroy the evidence within minutes, with the smugglers knowing that the Coast Guard will make sure they don't drown, Brickey said. The smugglers could also be armed.

It's not easy, and the Coast Guard only stops an estimated 11 percent of the vessels that pass through the East Pacific -- an area Brickey said was about the size of the entire US.

The Coast Guard, he said say, is tasked with patrolling the area with the equivalent of two police cars.

And a part of of the problem is that 70 percent of Coast Guard's fleet is over 50 years old -- so they're slow and require a lot of maintenance before they can be deployed.

"They're not really effective enough to meet this new threat," Brickey said.

The five people involved were sent to the DEA for prosecution

In the filmed incident, the Coast Guard was able to detect the vessel with an aircraft, who relayed the information to members on the ground. Once they had an idea of where the vessel was, the guard launched two small boats to creep up on the smugglers, and were eventually able to board without detection.

There were five people on the vessel, who were then turned over the US Drug Enforcement Administration for prosecution.

The bust was the first time the Coast Guard used a new type of ship on a counter-drug patrol, and Brickey said the incident is a great example of what these new ships can do.

"These sorts of capabilities on these ships is what will make us successful in the future," he said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 58640

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18641828
Ramsey7233261
Dakota4188104
Anoka3515114
Stearns286420
Washington200944
Nobles17536
Olmsted168823
Scott147918
Mower10942
Rice10138
Blue Earth8745
Wright8475
Carver8162
Clay76840
Sherburne7037
Kandiyohi6871
St. Louis48619
Todd4222
Lyon4213
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3153
Watonwan3010
Winona25416
Crow Wing22514
Beltrami2150
Le Sueur2101
Martin2045
Chisago1891
Goodhue1878
Otter Tail1853
Cottonwood1750
Becker1501
McLeod1480
Pipestone1479
Polk1453
Waseca1380
Douglas1360
Itasca13512
Carlton1320
Unassigned13241
Pine1280
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1160
Chippewa1011
Wabasha870
Brown862
Meeker852
Morrison851
Faribault830
Sibley822
Rock770
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass712
Mille Lacs693
Renville625
Fillmore610
Lincoln540
Grant523
Swift521
Yellow Medicine510
Pope460
Roseau460
Houston410
Norman370
Kanabec321
Redwood320
Wilkin323
Hubbard300
Aitkin291
Marshall290
Mahnomen261
Wadena240
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47424

Reported Deaths: 910
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10032206
Woodbury369151
Black Hawk308463
Linn227987
Johnson202116
Dallas184635
Buena Vista179112
Scott165514
Dubuque162331
Marshall142525
Pottawattamie128426
Story114114
Wapello87233
Muscatine84048
Webster7727
Crawford7263
Sioux6143
Cerro Gordo59617
Warren5471
Tama54529
Jasper46626
Wright4551
Plymouth4528
Louisa38014
Dickinson3774
Clinton3623
Washington29310
Boone2442
Hamilton2441
Franklin2339
Bremer2037
Clarke1953
Emmet1882
Carroll1851
Shelby1771
Clay1761
Hardin1730
Marion1620
Allamakee1544
Poweshiek1538
Des Moines1522
Jackson1481
Benton1461
Floyd1432
Mahaska13917
Guthrie1315
Cedar1281
Jones1272
Buchanan1231
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1092
Lee1073
Cherokee1031
Clayton1023
Harrison1020
Humboldt1001
Delaware991
Taylor960
Iowa941
Monona910
Winneshiek911
Mills850
Page850
Calhoun832
Kossuth830
Sac820
Fayette810
Jefferson800
Palo Alto800
Osceola790
Mitchell780
Winnebago770
Grundy761
Union751
Monroe697
Worth650
Lucas574
Chickasaw540
Montgomery534
Davis521
Cass501
Howard490
Appanoose473
Greene390
Fremont370
Van Buren341
Keokuk331
Ida290
Audubon281
Adair270
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned30
Rochester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 71°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Few Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Warming temps and rain inbound
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Tractor pullers excited to rev up their engines in 2020

Image

Need school supplies? Iowa tax-free weekend on clothes

Image

War hero remembered with motorcycle ride

Image

Families react to RPS's "Return to Learn" plan

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast- Friday

Image

Giving your best volunteer of the month

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Friday

Image

Developing Broadband for Telecommuting

Image

Solar Panel Project at NIACC

Image

City Works to Clear Out Homeless Encampment

Community Events