Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Drug smuggling Semi-Submersible had more than 14,000 Pounds of Cocaine on Board

Coast Guard busted smugglers in the Caribbean

By: Brad Davis
ABC Action News

The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress docked at its port in St. Petersburg today and off-loaded more than seven tons of cocaine worth $180 million.

The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress eased into its St. Pete port with more than seven tons of illegal cargo.

Coast Guard District 7 Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner explained the haul.

"They recovered over 14,000 pounds of cocaine," said Baumgartner.

The cocaine was aboard a self- propelled semi-submersible drug smuggling vessel that the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk located in the Caribbean on September 30th.

"When they stopped it, what they do with semi-submersibles is they sank it right away. So we were able to arrest the people that were operating it," said Baumgartner.

It's the smugglers, not the Coast Guard that quickly sink the vessel. The bust happened at night. Footage taken from a similar sinking just a few weeks before shows the smugglers jumping into the water moments before the vessel sinks.

"And then the Cypress came back, used sonar and went down with FBI divers," explained Baumgartner.

The divers recovered more than seven tons of cocaine. This bust is equal to one third of what all the law enforcement on the street in the United States catches in a year. A human chain of Coast Guard crewman off-loaded bale after bale. This is the third bust of a drug smuggling semi-submersible by the Coast Guard in the Caribbean since July.

"It's a new trend in the Caribbean because these are the first three that we've caught in the Caribbean. Out in the Pacific for the past four or five years there have been three or four dozen of them that we've caught out there. But it is a new trend in the Caribbean," said Baumgartner.

The street value of the cocaine is nearly $180 million. As massive as this bust is, the smugglers just keep coming.

"Unfortunately, a lot more goes through. So our job is to try and hit them hard enough so that it puts a bite on them. But we don't pretend that seizures like this are stopping all of their cocaine coming through," said Baumgartner.


  1. $180 million dollars on street value WOW, that will be like maybe 70 to 90 million wholesale. I wonder who will take the loss.

  2. 7,000 Kilos is ALLOT of coke...

  3. Great work!!
    Thats a taste of Good ol U.S. Law Enforcement at work. They can't get them all but a load like this makes the dope dealer cry.
    The monkeys that were driving the boat will and have to talk. They now need protection for they lost the load and now they will sing like little birds.
    They got the load and now theyt are gathering massive information to take down the next load.
    Cocaine in colombia is called "The Incas revenge"- not this time!!LOL!!! Here this kind of work is called American Justice!!

  4. I guess this is what they're fighting for in Veracruz.

  5. The manufacturers of these submersibles should be under surveillance.someone knows who is using the materials for the watercraft or where assembly takes place. Track the loads then bust em. Make it costly to the bad guys.

  6. 10:43 AM...Good point. My first thought was that the CDG just took another devastating blow because it was off coast in the Caribbean. It could very well be Zetas with a remote possibility that it is Sinaloa because of the Veracruz port possibility. I still don't see Sinaloa taking a risk with that size a load to an unsecured port. CDG has always been the big gulf coast and east coast cocaine supplier and I still think they just got hurt bad.

  7. This was Colombian- pure and simple. Doubtful the Mexicans had any involement whatsoever!
    The colombians make more money by cutting out the mexican criminals who run great risks of losing thier loads due to thier ignorance. With these vessels they can run thier own dope to the states with very little help and risk.

  8. It was Colombian but bought and brokered thru a Mexican. The Colombians hold very little cards when supplying to the states anymore. Not completely extinct but everything seems to run thru the cartels in Mexico these days. It's still a hit for any cartel, those aren't little losses. Will it break a cartel, most likely not. But when flipped that was a huge profit lost.

  9. Murrican law enforcement. Yep.
    That was not cheap for a broke ass nation.

  10. The Coast Guard did NOT take 7 tons of cocaine off the streets in America.
    They took 7 tons of somebody ELSE'S cocaine off the street. That created an additional marketing opportunities for the preferred U.S. cocaine vender (The Home Team.)
    It's as if Coca Cola were to get $40 billion every year (the estimated cost of the Drug War) to keep PEPSI off the shelves.
    The only ones benefiting? Coca Cola executives... and their friends.

  11. Could be. But, Columbians, as far as US distribution have been basically irrelevant for years now. Mainly Florida and New York. Mexican TCO's won't lose their loads, because they don't handle their loads, only their own. This could be Columbian/Peruvian product that wasn't paid for yet, I'm sure paying a higher premium can get it to Veracruz.

  12. @4:28
    man- you must have smoked a big fat one before you wrote that post. My response. Huh? What does your babel mean? Do you even know? What kind of weed was that you puffed on? Home grown American made (DRO) Mexican swag? Colombian dirt weed?

  13. Former Coast Guard once told me most of the drug smuggling is done in the coast. He told me of tons he and his buddies stopped. I asked him why those kinds of busts never or if ever rarely make it to the news. His response was I dunno.

  14. @ DFL: That phrase is in Peru, where the Incas come from...


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