CORONADO, Calif. — The U.S. Coast Guard launched video and photographs Thursday of service members not too long ago boarding submarines used to smuggle cocaine and cannabis throughout worldwide borders. The Coast Guard reported 14 operations that resulted within the seizure of greater than 39,000 kilograms of medicine prior to now two months in worldwide waters off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America.

The company launched this dramatic video of 1 encounter with submersible smugglers:

The video reveals a Coast Guard vessel pulling alongside the submarine as a member of the US Coast Guard Cutter Munro yells orders in Spanish for it to cease.

The submarine continues to maneuver as Coast Guard members then get shut sufficient to leap on board, and one Coastie kilos on the hatch earlier than it opens and folks on board seem with their palms raised in give up.

The Coast Guard additionally launched {a photograph} of a second submarine, this one painted blue and looking out rather less seaworthy, that the company captured not too long ago in close by waters.

The Coast Guard says cocaine and cannabis with an estimated avenue worth of $569 million was seized throughout the operations prior to now two months.

Exhibiting Off the New Drug Cutter

The June seizure was a part of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro’s first drug patrol because it was commissioned two years in the past. The brand new vessel is one in all six state-of-the-art cutters added to the Coast Guard fleet in recent times and one other two have been commissioned in Hawaii.

Vice President Mike Pence was available Thursday as 39,000 kilos (17,690 kilograms) of cocaine and 933 kilos (423 kilograms) of cannabis have been taken off the cutter Munro at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado.

Fifty-five smuggling suspects have been taken into custody.

The place’s the Hashish Headed?

The cannabis recovered by the Coast Guard raises fascinating questions in regards to the state of drug smuggling within the post-prohibition period. Cocaine, in fact, stays unlawful in every single place so the illicit market thrives. But when smugglers are nonetheless shifting tons of cannabis from Mexico to the USA over waterborne routes, what market is it feeding?

We’ve seen quite a few experiences and knowledge over the previous few years indicating that overland cannabis smuggling has dropped as a result of legalization in Canada and sure US states. California grows seven occasions extra cannabis than the state can eat. Oregon is so oversupplied with cannabis proper now that shops are virtually giving it away. Clearly there’s nonetheless a monetary incentive to pack bales of low-quality product in a probably deadline submersible and run it north to the US, the place presumably it will get transferred to automobiles and trucked east to unlawful states.

Gangsters used to do that kind of ocean-based smuggling with whiskey throughout the days of alcohol prohibition. Smugglers would convey Canadian alcohol down the Jap seaboard on rumrunner boats. No one does that anymore as a result of alcohol is authorized and controlled. There’s no marketplace for illicit spirits of unknown origin. However so long as cannabis stays criminalized in sure states, there might be a monetary incentive to smuggle it—in no matter selfmade vessel or automobile at the moment’s modern-day moonshiners can patch collectively.

The Related Press contributed to this report.