The past 10 months have been more detrimental than ever for international drug smuggling operations. Law enforcement has been on it, seizing more cocaine in this time frame than they have from 2012 through 2014 combined. This week, the United States Coast Guard made the biggest cocaine seizure in history, docking 32 metric tons of cocaine (1 metric ton=1000 kilos) in San Diego. They also swiped two metric tons of heroin. The haul is said to be worth $1 billion and would have resulted in more than 33 millions lines of blow for users.
The seizure happened in 23 separate busts during a four-month sting carried out by the Coast Guard off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South Americas. The cocaine and heroin were found in water vessels, like submarines and pangas, 15 meter long powered fishing boats. These are common transportation devices used by the powerful and dangerous cartels at the top of the drug market’s food chain.
One of the largest busts occurred on a submarine in the eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18th. The Coast Guard seized over five thousand kilos off of this submarine worth $181 million from four smugglers. The seizure would have been more, but the vessel sank as it was being towed, taking four thousand pounds of drugs with it. It was deemed “unrecoverable” after sinking. The seizure was lauded as “largest recorded semi-submersible interdiction in Coast Guard history.”
According to Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft, “every one of these bricks of cocaine was destined to the United States.” He surmised that the seizures foreign drug lords th “means to operate, the means to undermine regional stability, which is causing young boys and girls to flee crime-ridden countries to find refuge here in the United States.”