The Coast Guard released Thursday a video showing members of the services boarding a drug smuggling vessel carrying 17,000 pounds of cocaine, valued at $ 232 million, according to a door -speak of the branch.
The June 18 video showed members of the crew of the Munro Cutter jumping on the self-propelled semi-submersible vessel suspected of carrying drugs as the ship moved along the cutter in the eastern Pacific. A member of the crew can then be seen opening the door to find an unidentified man on the inside.
Five suspected drug smugglers have been found inside the ship, Chief American John Masson, of the US Coast Guard, told Fox News Thursday.
He added that traffickers sometimes used self-propelled semi-submersible boats for drug trafficking on the high seas. Masson confirmed that ships are designed to contain large quantities of drugs and are used to try to avoid detection.
"It's very fast and it's an evolution at high speed at sea that's inherently dangerous," Masson told Fox News, referring to the video. "We are mitigating these risks to the best of our ability, but this is a testament to the team's dedication to keeping these illegal narcotics from roaming the streets."
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According to a press release, the video shows part of a drug operation that lasted several months and in which 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana were seized in the international waters of the eastern Pacific.
The statement said the drugs "represent 14 bans and disruptions of alleged drug smuggling vessels off the coast of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard coastguards between May and July 2019. . "
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Masson told Fox News that the deal would lead to the prosecution of 55 alleged drug smugglers. He added that while some of the alleged smugglers would be handed over to the federal authorities, others would be brought back to their original country, where they will face international authorities.
Vice President Pence was in San Diego on Thursday when Coast Guard members unloaded the seized drugs. He spoke extensively about the Coast Guard's "courageous service" that saved lives.
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Masson told Fox News that this operation was part of Munro's first drug patrol since it was commissioned in April 2017.