While much of the nation is focusing on the opioid crisis in the U.S., cocaine smuggling is making a big comeback and that means the Coast Guard must be alert for small boat and even homemade submarines.
Often times the crews of the boats carrying the contraband will jettison their illegal cargo overboard if they feel that law enforcement is bearing down on them and they’ll string the bales together in an attempt to possibly retrieve the drugs later. This practice netted an unlikely, unwitting accomplice recently.
But what the crew of the cutter Thetis encountered in the eastern Pacific during a two-month mission was a surprise: a sea turtle trapped by the contraband.
Commander Jose Diaz told NBC News that a military plane spotted the debris field and his team moved in to inspect.
There were 26 rectangular packages containing cocaine strung together, likely jettisoned from a go-fast vessel.
“They probably felt the heat coming and got rid of it,” Diaz said of the smugglers.