In a speech aboard the Cutter Munro, Pence praised the Coast Guard's work, saying, "Make no mistake about it, Coasties, your courageous service is saving American lives". U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met members of the elite Coast Guard team who participated in the seizure as the drugs were unloaded in San Diego on Thursday.
Dramatic raw video shows the crew of a Coast Guard cutter leaping onto and commandeering a submarine allegedly being used to transport drugs across the Eastern Pacific. "Stop your boat! Now!" one roars in Spanish as waves crash against the hull. In these videos, you can see the Coast Guard conducting surveillance on suspicious vessels that ultimately turned out to be trafficking drugs.
The video shows members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro first screaming imperceptibly at an unidentified moving object in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Infamously elusive boats dubbed narco-submarines - cartel-funded ships built in the jungle to haul massive amounts of drugs - have bedeviled Coast Guardsmen tasked with stemming the flow of contraband.
When they hear no response, the boat appears to ram into the submarine and two coast guards jump on top of it.
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The Coast Guard said "purpose-build smuggling vessels like SPSSs are created to hold large quantities of contraband while evading detection by law enforcement authorities". Stephen Brickey told ABC News.
The video captured part of a monthslong drug operation in which 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana were seized in global waters in the Eastern Pacific, according to a news release.
A total of 55 suspected drug smugglers were detained during the operation, despite the boats and submarines being stopped in worldwide waters.
The drugs were seized in 14 operations since May in worldwide waters off Mexico and Central and South America.