U.S. Coast Guard intercepts semi-submersible vessel packed with cocaine

Daily News Article   —   Posted on December 13, 2017

(by Mary Bowerman, USA Today) – A U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a semi-submersible vessel* filled with thousands of pounds of cocaine off the coast of Texas last month, according to an official statement. [*Self-propelled semi-submersible vessels are low profile vessels designed to navigate low in the water to avoid detection.]

On Nov. 12, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Air Marine Operations (AMO) along with other agencies including the Coast Guard and the US Navy tracked the self-propelled semi-submersible vessel through international waters, according to a CBP statement.

A day later, a Coast Guard vessel intercepted the drug smugglers, arrested the three-member crew and seized 3,800 pounds of cocaine. The three suspects will face charges in the U.S.

Marine Operations have aircraft that operate from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Jacksonville, Fla., according to the CBP statement. They patrol the borders in transit zones in Central and South America and the aircrews can often detect and disrupt drug smugglers before they reach the U.S. borders, according to the statement.

Allen Durham, the National Air Security Operations Center Corpus Christi Director, said in a statement that drug cartels are “relentless and extremely innovative.”

“Interdicting self-propelled semi-submersible vessels requires expertise and the right aircraft,” Durham said. “Air and Marine Operations will continue to beat the cartels at their own game to protect our borders.”

From USA Today. (With FoxNews and UK Daily Mail). Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from USA Today.


Questions

1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. Which government agencies tracked and then intercepted the vessel?

3. a) What is the role of AMO?
b) Where do Marine Operations station the aircraft that participated in the mission?
c) What do the crews of these aircraft do?

4. a) What is a drug cartel?
b) How did Allen Durham of the National Air Security Operations Center describe the drug cartels’ attempts to smuggle drugs into the U.S.?

5. What assurance did Mr. Durham give?

6. How would you describe the work of our U.S. Coast Guard, CBP, Marine Ops, etc. in searching for drug smugglers? (challenging, impossible, inspiring, skillful, etc. …) Explain your answer.


Background

What is the role of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB)?

What is Air and Marine Operations (AMO)?

Air and Marine Operations Operating Locations