Coast Guard Recovers $180 Million in Cocaine From Sunken Submarine in Caribbean

The U.S. Coast Guard caught a submarine carrying $180 million worth of cocaine in the Caribbean last month. While subs have been used for years to smuggle the white stuff on the West Coast, this is the first time the Coast Guard has intercepted a self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel running drugs in the Caribbean.

The bust went down July 13 when the Coast Guard caught the sub's crew trying to jump into life rafts off the coast of Honduras. The drug runners sank their own sub rather than be caught.

Ten days later, the Coast Guard, the Honduran Navy, and FBI dive teams decided to see what all the underwater fuss was about, and when they found the sub on the ocean floor, they discovered it held roughly 15,000 pounds of cocaine worth $180 million.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime -- once-in-a-career -- thing that happens," Lt. Cmdr. Peter Niles told ABC News. "I've been here for 27 years, and I've never been involved in a drug case like this."

It took the Coast Guard three days to recover all the cocaine from the sub. The coke is scheduled to be unloaded in Miami today.

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