Though frequently overlooked, the U.S. Coast Guard plays a vital role in the effort to keep illicit drugs out of the United States. And the men and women of the branch sometimes go to extreme lengths to keep the country safe.
Check out this just-released video of two Coast Guard cutters intercepting a semi-submersible vessel in open and choppy waters, an intervention that involved fully-kitted Coast Guard commandos jumping on board the still-moving craft to force it to stop its smuggling operation.
.@VP is welcoming back the crew of CG Cutter Munro as they turn over 39K lbs of cocaine from drug seizures like this one from a semi-submersible off South America to federal agents. We will be live-streaming the offload on Facebook in a few hours. More: https://t.co/5eQRbQpxw5 pic.twitter.com/9bMRorDC4I
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) July 11, 2019
The two Coast Guard cutters quickly approach the narco sub from both sides and shout orders in Spanish to the sub’s crew to stop their boat.
Before the sub comes to a full stop, two men in full combat gear jump from their own ship to the partially submerged vessel.
Without any apparent safety lines tethering them to the cutter, the commandos somehow manage to keep their balance as waves crash around them and the vessel bounces up and down in the choppy water.
One of the Coast guardsmen begins beating on the vessel’s hatch and yells further unintelligible instructions to the men inside once it pops open.
The video then cuts off.
According to a media advisory bulletin released by the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday, that particular drug bust was one of 14 separate interceptions and disruptions along the Pacific coast by three Coast Guard cutters working as a team from May to July of 2019.
Those interventions collected a cumulative total of more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana for a combined estimated street value approaching $569 million.
The confiscated drugs were all placed on the Coast Guard Cutter Munro and transported to the Naval Air Station North Island base near San Diego, California, for an off-loading ceremony Wednesday morning featuring high-profile federal officials including Vice President Mike Pence.
Among the other top officials present at the ceremony were James Carroll, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Uttam Dhillon; and the commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, Vice Admiral Linda Fagan.
The bulletin acknowledged the many federal agencies and international partners that work alongside and in support of the Coast Guard to combat drug smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Western Atlantic Ocean, and Carribean Sea.
Unfortunately, these seizures are a mere drop in the bucket compared to the amount of illicit drugs that aren’t intercepted and make it into America.
The southwestern border of the U.S. is not the only route drug traffickers use to deliver their cargo to America, but thankfully the U.S. Coast Guard is watching the open waters, prepared to rush in when necessary to defend our nation.
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