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Coast Guard seizes $196 million of cocaine from robot submarine - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Nov. 11th, 2008

02:11 am - Coast Guard seizes $196 million of cocaine from robot submarine

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The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, homeported here, and a Navy maritime patrol aircraft crew teamed up to interdict a stateless (unflagged,) self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel Wednesday with seven tons of cocaine aboard approximately 400 miles south of the Mexico-Guatemala border.

The 60-foot, self-propelled, semi-submersible (SPSS) craft was detected by the crew of the Navy aircraft which vectored the crew of the Midgett to the location of the SPSS. The Coast Guard quickly commenced a boarding of the stateless SPSS. The Coast Guard boarding team located 295 bales of cocaine, valued at more than $196 million, in a huge forward compartment. The SPSS became unstable and began to sink during the transfer of the bales of cocaine from the SPSS to Midgett. The condition of the vessel made it unsafe to tow and Midgett’s crew sank the vessel as a hazard to navigation.

Original: craschworks - comments

Comments:

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From:schrathe
Date:November 11th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC)
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Why would robots want cocaine?
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From:crasch
Date:November 11th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC)
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There's a reason they never sleep...
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From:zarex
Date:November 11th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
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That's really cool, robotic smuggling!

I can't imagine there will be much ability to police a fleet of these things sneaking into the US.
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From:adam__selene
Date:November 11th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Next step: fully submersible.
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From:danlyke
Date:November 11th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
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I keep thinking that playing with autonomous vehicles would be pretty cool. I've dealt with motor control hardware, I'm currently working on some fantastic alternative processors, interfacing to some cool devices. But then I realize that if a bunch of druggies can build autonomous vehicles that can travel thousands of miles unattended through some pretty harsh conditions, that... well...

If all that anti-drug propaganda is right, then I can't even compete with a bunch of losers with ruined lives. Damn, it makes me sad...
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From:istar
Date:November 11th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
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Remember, kids: don't do drugs! There are no jobs for coked-out losers (other than world-famous fictional detective, rock star, or robot submarine builder...)!
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From:partywhipple
Date:November 11th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Someone had a seriously shitty day. Not only losing their shipment but the craft too? It couldn't have been a cheap thing to build/buy.
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From:drewkitty
Date:November 11th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
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They have several more. People don't GET how powerful the drug cartels are. They have their own logistics people, their own trainers, their own intelligence cadre and counter-intelligence, you name it.
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From:adam__selene
Date:November 11th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
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At 1% of the price of the cargo -- ~$2 million -- it is pretty cheap to build.

Of course that cargo value figure is probably way inflated (i.e. NY street price, not kilo price in Colombia).

Wouldn't it be great if they shipped back the dollars in these things too. Imagine stumbling across a hundred million in unmarked low-denomination bills while sailing across the western Caribbean.
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From:partywhipple
Date:November 11th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
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...
Yeah I think i can imagine. LOL Oh man...
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From:docscarabus
Date:November 11th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
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Where did they get a robot submarine?
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From:crasch
Date:November 11th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
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I'm guessin they built it.
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From:docscarabus
Date:November 11th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Damn. Much respect.
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