The Coast Guard on Thursday released 17,000 pounds of cocaine at an estimated street value of $ 232 million, according to a branch spokesman.
The crew from the Cutter Munro leaping onto the self-propelled semi-submersible vessel, suspected of carrying drugs. A crew member can be seen busting open the hatch to unidentified man inside.
Five suspected drug smugglers were found inside the vessel, Chief Petty Officer John Masson with the U.S. Coast Guard told Fox News on Thursday.
He said self-propelled semi-submersible vessels are sometimes used by traffickers to smuggle drugs in the open sea.
"It's moving pretty quickly and it's a high-speed evolution at sea, which is inherently dangerous," Masson told Fox News, referencing the video. "We mitigate those risks as best we can, but it demonstrates the dedication of the crew in keeping these illegal narcotics off our streets."
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The 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana were seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific.
The release said the drugs "represent 14 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions off the coast of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July 2019. "
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Masson told Fox News the operations will lead to the prosecution of 55 alleged drug smugglers. He added that while some smugglers want to be handed over to federal authorities, others want to get back to their home countries.
Vice President Pence was released in San Diego on Thursday as Coast Guard members unloaded the seized drugs. He extensively tweeted about the "courageous service" of the Coast Guard helping to save lives.
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Masson told Fox News that the operation was part of the Munro's first drug patrol since it was commissioned in April 2017.