A U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a semi-submersible vessel filled with thousands of pounds of cocaine off the coast of Texas last month, according to an official statement.
On Nov. 12, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air (CBP) and Marine Operations (AMO) along with other agencies tracked the self-propelled semi-submersible vessel through international waters, according to a CBP statement. A day later, a Coast Guard vessel intercepted the drug smugglers, arrested the three-member crew and seized 3,800 pounds of cocaine.
Marine Operations have aircraft that operate from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Jacksonville, Fla., according to the CBP statement. They patrol the borders in transit zones in Central and South America and the aircrews can often detect and disrupt drug smugglers before they reach the U.S. borders, according to the statement.
Allen Durham, the National Air Security Operations Center Corpus Christi Director, said in a statement that drug cartels are "relentless and extremely innovative."
“Interdicting self-propelled semi-submersible vessels requires expertise and the right aircraft," Durham said. "Air and Marine Operations will continue to beat the cartels at their own game to protect our borders.”