Authorities Disrupt Nearly $200 Million of Cocaine Headed for US on Semi-Submersible

The semi-submersible vessel is popular among drug traffickers.

ByABC News
March 25, 2016, 7:24 AM

— -- Authorities in Texas say they intercepted a semi-submersible vessel attempting to bring more than $200 million worth of cocaine into the United States. The 12,800 pounds, or 5.5 tons, of cocaine was on a kind of mini-sub used by drug traffickers.

A team of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents based in Corpus Christi, Texas, detected the self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel earlier this month, officials said. They arrested four people operating the vessel and seized the cocaine. The sub, which officials said originated in the “Eastern Pacific Ocean," later sank.

The Coast Guard caught a similar vessel carrying 12,000 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Central America in August and have previously intercepted almost 43,000 pounds at once. In the 2015 fiscal year U.S. Customs and Border Protection crews seized 213,000 pounds of cocaine in the 42-million-square-mile area they patrol.

This latest incident comes a few days after a JetBlue flight attendant abandoned 70 pounds of cocaine at airport security when she was selected for a random check in the known crewmember line. She has since turned herself over to authorities.