Drug Sub Builder Held

Slate.com is reporting the man behind the building of three true submarines intended for smuggling drugs is facing trial, and many of those who worked with him have either been tried or taken plea bargains.

If you want a refresher on the result of his efforts, there is pretty good info on one of the submarines that he produced here.

We have talked about these before and their implications for the Coast Guard. Related:

Helping Build and Maintain Narco-subs

New Type Narco Sub–a “Snot Boat?”

Narco Sub Photos and Video re Evolution of Semi-Submersibles

A True Narco Submarine–Counter Measures?

A True Narco Submarine–Counter Measures?

The reports of the Ecuadorian Police and DEA finding a true submarine, that is one capable of submerging, about 100 feet long, built to smuggle six to ten metric tons of Cocaine, appeared over the 4th of July weekend. If you missed the reports, they are here and here.

The existence of such a sub raises some interesting operational questions.

First of course, they are more difficult to find than even the semi-submersibles that have been used in the past, and the Coast Guard has essentially no capability to detect a fully submerged submarine.

But even if the submarine is detected, first you have to be sure it is a Narco sub and not one of the hundreds of other subs out there that belong to the over forty countries that operate subs. Then how do you stop it? How do you even signal it? Do you sink it? In international waters? You might not be able to maintain contact for very long, so it better not take too long to get a decision on use of force?

Would be very interesting to find out what the true capabilities of the sub would have been.

Time to stock up on percussion grenades?