U.S. Coast Guard apprehends narco-sub with 16,000 pounds of cocaine

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monro transfer packages of cocaine from an interceptor boat to the cutter following an interdiction in the Eastern Pacific Ocean

Pence congratulated the crews of three Coast Guard cutters for confiscating the contraband from 14 suspected drug smuggling vessels intercepted off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America between May and July.

US Coast Guard Cutter Munro crew members can be seen in helmet-cam footage chasing down a "self-propelled semi-submersible" (SPSS) smuggling vessel at high speed in worldwide waters in the Pacific Ocean.

Dramatic footage from a U.S. Coast Guard raid shows two armed officers jumping onto a moving submarine full of drugs and alleged smugglers in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

It was ultimately bound for the United States, as the vessel had been tracked by a Coast Guard surveillance aircraft.

Footage shows another boat approach the submersible with crew members on board shouting as they edge closer to it. Once they had an idea of where the vessel was, the guard launched two small boats to creep up on the smugglers, and were eventually able to board without detection.

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The U.S. Coast Guard told NBC News on Thursday that during this mission they had found 17,000 pounds of cocaine inside the submarine, which accounts for the equivalent of $232 million if sold.

More modern types of vessels are are fully submersible, and are equipped specifically to go undetected.

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro were welcomed back by Vice President Mike Pence, which the Coast Guard live streamed on Facebook. Every vessel is built with the ability to sink and destroy the evidence within minutes, with the smugglers knowing that the Coast Guard will make sure they don't drown, Brickey said.

Homemade submarines are commonly used to smuggle drugs out of Colombia.

Fifty-five smuggling suspects were arrested over 14 operations conducted in worldwide waters off Mexico, Central and South America.

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