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Interview with Cmdr. Cameron Naron, Deputy Chief, Coast Guard Office of Law Enforcement

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DoD Emerging Media

DoD Emerging Media


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Last week, the Coast Guard with support from the U.S. Navy interdicted two semi-submersible vessels carrying approximately 14 metric tons of cocaine. SPSSs present a growing threat in the war on drugs. Stateless, self-propelled, semi-submersible vessels serve no legitimate purpose; they are built and operated for the sole purpose of smuggling narcotics into the United States. SPSS smuggling now accounts for 32 percent of all maritime cocaine flow in the transit zone, with 355 metric tons of cocaine to date in fiscal year 2008. Interagency cooperation is a key element of the Coast Guard's success in our overall interdiction efforts. On Thursday, 25 September, the Senate passed a bill to amend titles 46 and 18, United States Code, with respect to the operation of submersible vessels and semi-submersible vessels without nationality. This is a critical piece to supporting our drug interdiction efforts. The bill creates a 15-year criminal offense in title 18 and a $1 million civil penalty in title 46 for any person operating or embarking in a stateless SPSS on an international voyage.