Homeland & Coast Guard

Coast Guard stops self-propelled vessel holding more than $165M in cocaine

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The Coast Guard intercepted a self-propelled semisubmersible that was carrying more than $165 million worth of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific, according to a Tuesday release.

The Coast Guard cutter Valiant stopped the 40-foot vessel earlier this month with assistance from Colombian naval assets and found 12,000 pounds of cocaine. Four suspected drug smugglers were apprehended, according to the release.

{mosads}The crew took more than 1,100 pounds of cocaine back to the Valiant but could not remove the rest safely due to the lack of stability of the vessel. 

The semisubmersible was found by maritime patrol aircraft, which recruited the Valiant to meet the submersible when it was set to arrive at sunset. The Valiant crew and two members of the Coast Guard Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team initially approached the vessel in two boats in the early morning hours before allowing a full boarding.

Cmdr. Matthew Waldron, the Valiant’s commanding officer, said in the release that it was “an all-hands-on-deck evolution.”

The Valiant’s capture of the vessel matched up in timing with the milestone of crossing the equator, Waldron said.

“There are no words to describe the feeling Valiant crew is experiencing right now,” Waldron said in the release. “In a 24-hour period, the crew both crossed the equator and intercepted a drug-laden self-propelled semi-submersible vessel. Each in and of themselves is momentous events in any cutterman’s career.”

Tags Coast Guard Cocaine

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