Mon | Oct 23, 2017

More than 7 tons cocaine seized in Carib waters

Published:Wednesday | August 3, 2011 | 12:00 AM
United States Coast Guard crew members unload roughly 7.5 tons of cocaine yesterday in Miami Beach, Florida, which was seized from a submarine-like craft off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Officials say the cocaine is worth about $180 million. - AP

MIAMI (CMC):

United States Coast Guard officials say they have recovered 7.5 tons of cocaine from a drug submarine in the Caribbean Sea.

The Coast Guard said its C-130 plane first spotted the knife-shaped craft skimming along the blue-green Caribbean waters off the coast of Honduras, marking the first interdiction and seizure of its kind in the Caribbean.

The crew notified a Customs and Border Patrol airplane, which flew down for a closer look, confirming the drug sub, officials said.

The Coast Guard said the cutter Seneca soon stopped the 'self-propelled semi-submersible' and detained the five crew members, who managed to sink the vessel with almost all of the 7.5 tons of cocaine loaded inside.

But the Coast Guard said it, the FBI and Honduran Navy divers, using sonar equipment, searched for almost two weeks since the mid-July event and found the submarine last Tuesday.

Niles said the five sub crew members, who were allegedly transporting the cocaine from Colombia to Mexico, were stopped by the Coast Guard as they tried to escape in a yellow life raft.

The defendants, from Colombia and Honduras, are awaiting detention hearings on Friday in a US district court in Tampa, Florida, on charges of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute it in the United States.