Alameda Coast Guard seizes more than 6 tons of cocaine worth $203 million

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Incredible new video shows an operation that went down off the coast of Panama in which the Coast Guard from Alameda seized six tons of cocaine worth more than $200 million.

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The Coast Guard is announcing this because of the amount and also because they want you to see the impressive video.

In the video you see the Alameda crew climbing onboard the slippery vessel and taking two people into custody. This took place just south of Mexico on March 3.

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Officials say the drugs were likely heading to Mexico where they would be unpacked, repackaged, and then sent to the United States.

They consider this a medium to large bust. We got to hear about it by the commanding officer by telephone; she's still out on assignment.

"In this case we were able to safely remove approximately 12,800 pounds of cocaine from the vessel," said Cutter Bertholf Commanding Officer Captain Laura Collins. "There was no practical way to tow the vessel several hundred miles back to shore and we couldn't leave it because it posed a hazard to navigation to other mariners in the area. We sank the smuggling vessel by downflooding."

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The video shows a rare underwater look at the self-propelled semisubmersible. They're made for drug smuggling because most of it is underwater. They are hard to detect. It took a crew and an airplane to spot it.

Even though they had to sink it, they say this video will help them see how they are built and how they're being operated. Officials say they're growing in use by the drug smugglers.

According to the Coast Guard, they've encountered five in less than a year. It had been since 2012 before they'd seen one before.

They did find a loaded gun aboard. But no one was hurt during this takedown.

Click here for more stories and videos about recent drug busts.
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