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Coast Guard makes dramatic seizure of drug-hauling submarine

Updated July 12, 2019 - 8:47 am

CORONADO, Calif. — U.S. Coast Guard members boarded a semi-submarine racing through the waves, one of 14 operations seizing cocaine and marijuana since May in international waters off Mexico and Central and South America.

The agency released dramatic video of the encounter with smugglers on Thursday.

It shows a Coast Guard vessel pulling alongside the submarine as someone yells orders in Spanish for it to stop. The submarine continues to move as Coast Guard members then get close enough to board it as one repeatedly pounds on the hatch before it opens and people on board appear with their hands raised as they surrender.

The Coast Guard says cocaine and marijuana with an estimated street value of $569 million was seized during the operations in the past two months.

Vice President Mike Pence was on hand Thursday as 39,000 pounds (17,690 kilograms) of cocaine and 933 pounds (423 kilograms) of marijuana were taken off the cutter Munro at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado.

Fifty-five smuggling suspects were taken into custody.

Photos also were released of the Coast Guard sinking drug boats.

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