Drug smugglers, it seems, are getting smarter. Well, if not smarter, at least faster. In an effort to thwart increased Coast Guard interdictions of suspected smuggling boats in the Pacific, the cartels are now running drugs in low, fast, camouflaged boats that are hard to pick up on radar, or to catch at sea. Still, a recent joint operation between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard resulted in 23 separate interdictions off Central and South America, capturing 47,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $721 million.
The U.S. Coast Guard recently released videos and photos of some of the interdictions, showing graphic pictures of the smugglers’ new boats. Since the summer, the U.S. and Canadian vessels have caught 13 low-profile, fast boats, often with multiple engines and often painted in muted green hues to blend in with the color of the ocean.
The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton stopped two of these boats in three days; in one incident the Stratton crew boarded a fast boat in international waters with 3,400 pounds of cocaine and four suspected smugglers on board. Read more and see the video: