ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Nearly a month after sinking and locating a self-propelled semi-submersible carrying $180 million worth of drugs, the U.S. Coast Guard has seized and unloaded 7 tons of cocaine.
The Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk intercepted a “drug sub” in the Western Caribbean Sea on Sept. 30. The Cutter Mohawk would sink the semi-submersible that same day.
Along with an FBI dive team and crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress, the Coast Guard began diving in search of the sunken sub on Oct. 17 and located it two days later. Lt. Cmdr. Paul Morgan, the commanding officer of the Cutter Cypress, told CBS Tampa that they finished their dive on Oct. 24.
“This is the second self-propelled semi-submersibles case for this crew and I am extremely proud we were able to stop millions of dollars of cocaine from reaching the streets of America,” said Cmdr. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk’s commanding officer, in a release. “They are a significant threat to our nation and throughout Central and South America because they can smuggle massive amounts of narcotics as well as other illicit goods or people and we will continue to be out here and stand a vigilant watch.”
The 7 tons of cocaine, worth about $180 million, was off-loaded earlier Friday and transferred over to federal authorities, U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Public Affairs Officer Marilyn Fajardo told CBS Tampa. The sunken vessel that was seized is typically built in South American remote jungles, according to the Coast Guard.
The case remains under investigation.
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