Feds Make Historic Cocaine Bust in Caribbean

Interception, seizure off Honduras coast a first for Coast Guard

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 2, 2011 4:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Coast Guard, working with FBI dive teams and the Honduran navy, has recovered 7.5 tons of cocaine worth $180 million from a drug submarine scuttled by smugglers off the coast of Honduras. The interception and seizure is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, the Miami Herald reports. Similar subs, built in jungle workshops by Colombian smugglers and designed to sink quickly when law enforcement is detected, have been stopped along Central America's Pacific coast.

The five smugglers, Columbian and Honduran nationals who attempted to escape in a life raft as the Coast Guard moved in, were arrested and are now in detention in Florida. It took dive teams nearly two weeks to locate the sub and remove the cocaine. The chief of the Honduran armed forces called the interception "the biggest blow to drug trafficking” in his country's history.

A diver brings cocaine from the scuttled drug sub to the surface.
A diver brings cocaine from the scuttled drug sub to the surface.   (US Coast Guard)
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