Sept. 24 (UPI) — The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a semi-submersible carrying $165 million in cocaine earlier this month, military officials announced Tuesday.
The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant tracked the 40-foot vessel on Sept. 5 in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, sending crews in two small boats to board. Crew members discovered 12,000 pounds of cocaine and four suspected drug traffickers, who were arrested.
Officials said the crew members recovered about 1,100 pounds of the cocaine but were unable to extract the remaining drugs because the semi-submersible wasn’t stable.
The seizure was carried out in cooperation with the Colombian navy.
“In a 24-hour period, the crew both crossed the equator and intercepted a drug-laden self-propelled semi-submersible vessel,” Cmdr. Matthew Waldron said. “Each in and of themselves is momentous events in any cutterman’s career. Taken together, however, it is truly remarkably unprecedented.
“This interdiction was an all-hands-on-deck evolution, and each crew member performed above and beyond the call of duty.”