U.S. Coast Guard boarding team members climb aboard a suspected smuggling vessel in September. Crews intercepted a drug-laden, 40-foot self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) in the Eastern Pacific carrying approximately 12,000 pounds of cocaine, worth over $165 million and apprehended four suspected drug smugglers. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)

U.S. Coast Guard Could Face a Narco Submarine Epidemic in 2020

As the U.S. P-3 Orion patrol plane flew by, the crew of the narco-submarine began throwing bales of cocaine overboard. It wasn’t enough to destroy the evidence. All three crewmen were later picked up by a Costa Rican Coast Guard cutter. This drug sub interdiction, in the Eastern Pacific on January 2, was the first of 2020.

In many respects it was typical, combining the efforts of various U.S. Forces and partner nations. There is broad cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Navy, DEA and local partner forces throughout Latin America. But this doesn’t appear to be deterring the drug trafficking organizations.

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