Coast Guard Intercepts 7 Tons of Cocaine

ST. PETERSBURG — The U.S. Coast Guard says it intercepted seven tons of cocaine worth nearly $180 million from a self-propelled semi-submersible.

It is only the second time cocaine has been recovered from a semi-submersible that has been sunk, the Coast Guard said.

The use of semi-submersible to smuggle cocaine is a growing trend in the Caribbean, the Coast Guard said. This is the third such interdiction since mid-July. In one case the agency was unable to recover cocaine.

The amount of cocaine seized in this case is so large it equals a third of all the cocaine local law enforcement recovers in a year across the United States, the Coast Guard said.

The semi-submersible was stopped and scuttled by the people aboard the ship on Sept. 30 near the coast of Honduras, said Lt. Patrick Montgomery during a news conference Friday.

Four or five people aboard the semi-submersible scuttled the vessel. The people board were detained and the drugs were recovered less than 100 feet below the surface a couple weeks later by the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress.

Source: Danny Valentine, St. Petersburg Times