US Coast Guard seizes more than $5.6B in cocaine within last year

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has seized $5.6 billion worth of cocaine during its 2016 fiscal year, which is a record for the agency.

Between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016, Coast Guard members have seized more than 416,600 pounds of cocaine off the coasts of Central and South America.

Last month, more than 5,600 pounds of the illegal drug were found on a self-propelled, semisubmersible. The vessels are constructed specifically for illegal drug trafficking because it has a low profile and is hard for authorities to detect. The seizure came out to about $73 million worth of drugs.

Five smugglers on board the vessel were also taken into custody, but they tried to sink the semisubmersible when agents closed in on them. The drugs have now been docked at the Naval Base San Diego.

According to the Coast Guard, it has taken in about 585 suspected drug smugglers within the last year, which is also an agency record.
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