Eastern Pacific Cocaine Bust
The US Coast Guard and US Customs and Border Protection interdicted approximately 15000 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Mexico on August 31.
A CBP Office of Air and Marine P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft tracked the 50-foot self-propelled semi-submersible vessel while on routine patrol in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, also on patrol in the area, was alerted of the suspicious vessel.
The cutter launched two Over-the-Horizon Long-Range Interceptor boat crews to intercept and board the vessel. Upon approach of the boarding teams, four suspected smugglers exited the hull. Boarding team members retrieved bales and loose bricks of contraband from the semi-submersible that tested positive for cocaine.
The seized contraband is worth an estimated $227 million. After the suspected smugglers and contraband were removed from the semi-submersible the craft was sunk as a hazard to navigation.