Here are some real heroes: members of the U.S. Coast Guard who confront vessels in the open sea that are used by drug cartels to smuggle drugs. On June 18, 2019, in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members boarded a self-propelled semi-submersible suspected drug smuggling vessel (SPSS). Take a look at the dramatic video:
The Hill reported, “A crew member can be heard calling out orders to stop the submarine in Spanish before warning a colleague that ‘it will be hard to get on.’” NBC News added, “About 17,000 pounds of cocaine were found inside along with five suspected smugglers, the U.S. Coast Guard told NBC News on Thursday. The estimated street value of the drugs is $232 million.”
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence attended a Coast Guard drug offload Thursday in San Diego. He said, “”Make no mistake about it, Coasties, your courageous service is saving American lives.”
The United Coast Guard had reported:
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro will offload more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth a combined estimated $569 million, which was seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The drugs represent 14 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July 2019.
The Coast Guard explained further:
The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions, a suspect vessel is initially detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Insider reported in May 2019, “With a well-known route through the Southern Cone decimated and authorities combing the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, drug traffickers are turning to the Pacific Ocean to ship their illicit wares to North America … While there have been regular seizures on both coasts, the Pacific seems to be gaining in popularity among drug traffickers as they move their products north.” The report added, “Drug traffickers, for a few years, have relied on buoys with satellite location devices on them, which allows for more maneuverability. One group leaves the drugs out at sea with the buoy switched on, and the frequency is shared with their partners who can pick up the drugs at their convenience. This lessens the risk of a patrol stumbling unto them.”
The Congressional Research Service issued a comprehensive report title “Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations” in July 2018 that stated:
Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) pose the greatest crime threat to the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Drug Threat Assessment published in October 2017. These organizations have for years been identified for their strong links to drug trafficking, money laundering, and other violent crimes. These criminal groups have trafficked heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and, increasingly, the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. U.S. overdoses due to opioid consumption sharply increased to a record level in 2016, following the Mexican criminal syndicates expanded control of the heroin and synthetic opioids market.