Waesche Unloads Tons of Seized Dope
The crew of the Alameda-based Coast Guard Cutter Waesche unloaded some 39,000 pounds of cocaine in San Diego last Wednesday. Among the illicit cargo were more than 5,600 pounds of cocaine that the Waesche confiscated on Sept. 6 from a self-propelled semisubmersible submarine in the Pacific Ocean off Central America.
Coast Guard officials reported that Waesche crewmembers pursued the semisubmersible using two vessels and an armed helicopter. They apprehended five alleged smugglers and prevented them from filling the vessel
with water and destroying the evidence.
This marked the sixth time the Coast Guard has seized a self-propelled semisubmersible in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. During that time the Coast Guard confiscated a record-setting 208 tons of cocaine worth more than $5.6 billion, a record for the service.
During that time, ships based at Coast Guard Island seized some 43 tons of cocaine with a street value of an estimated $1.5 billion.