Waesche Unloads Tons of Seized Dope

Coast Guard photo Crewmembers of the Alameda-based Coast Guard Cutter Waesche secure a semisubmersible submarine after seizing the cocaine-laden vessel on the open seas on Sept. 6. The cutter arrived in San Diego on Oct. 27, where crewmembers unloaded 39,000 pounds of cocaine — 5,600 pounds from the submarine pictured here.


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.