.50 cal Coasties vs. Drug Runners


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cavman
June 2, 2008, 08:22 AM
I found this in Men's Vogue:

http://www.mensvogue.com/business/blackbook/articles/2008/06/snipers

Black Book
Birds of Prey
Armed with heavy artillery and dead-eye aim, an elite squad of Coast Guard snipers is targeting drug runners from above. By Jonathan Franklin with Samuel Logan

June 2008
Wing and a Prayer

A HITRON chopper gives chase to a go-fast off the coast of Florida. (Photo by Morten Andersen)

On a sunny fall day 300 miles off the west coast of Guatemala, Coast Guard pilot Dan Roberts readied for combat from the front seat of his MH-68A Stingray helicopter. In the back of the chopper, gunner Andrew Kramer — 30 years old and tightly wound — loaded his .50-caliber rifle, each bullet as thick and long as a hot dog and strong enough to rip through two inches of steel. Somewhere in the vast Pacific Ocean below, a band of armed smugglers in a camouflaged speedboat was barreling north with 4,000 pounds — $80 million — of cocaine onboard. They were aimed for the coast of Mexico, probably Acapulco, where a brutal and entrepreneurial Mexican cartel would ship the product north to the target market: the nostrils of America.

Roberts — who sports a shaved head and the swagger that comes with 17 years in the military — was on patrol for the Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON), an elite team tasked with tracking down and attacking cocaine shipments from South America. Since the Navy cannot legally open fire on civilian boats that refuse to stop, they call in HITRON, the only U.S. military unit authorized to shoot out the boats' motors — a tactic that spares a bloody mess to explain to the press or foreign governments. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the helicopters are the military's safest and most successful tool for stopping the drug boats known as "go-fasts," and have a territorial range that includes the entire Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Inside Roberts's helicopter, the radio crackled with intelligence updates from their Coast Guard cutter and a Border Patrol plane overhead. His quarry — poorly paid peasants from Ecuador and Colombia working for the Colombian cartels — are typically dispatched from Buenaventura in primitive 40-foot boats propelled by 800-horsepower engines. The boats are stripped to the minimum weight, their decks streamlined to hold the essentials — food, water, and cocaine. Sometimes they even skip the food. "The traffickers' ability to vary routes and tactics is amazing," said pilot Eric Belleque. "You're on a cutter and you get word a go-fast is taking off 200 miles east. The race is on."

But even the lightest speedboat is no match for the Coast Guard's helicopters, which easily top 150 mph. When Roberts finally caught sight of the telltale wake from the speedboat, he lowered the chopper to just 50 feet off the water and roared up from behind, blindsiding the crew. "If we can get a line on the wake, we position ourselves nicely to start the show on our terms," he explained to me later. "Surprise and chaos onboard a go-fast always works to our advantage, especially at night." As Roberts pulled the helicopter to the boat's starboard for a clean shot, his copilot hit a flashing blue light, keyed on the aircraft's megaphone, and ordered, "Stop your vessel!" and in Spanish, "Pare su barco, esta es la Guarda Costa!" For a moment, the crew stood like statues — then frantically organized a fire-bucket brigade to pass the suitcase-size bales of Colombian marching powder, each worth $3 million, up from the cargo hold and over the rail as the boat sped on. (Instead of sinking, the evidence popped back up, serving as a rest stop for tired seagulls until being retrieved by the feds or washing up on shore for lucky coastal residents.)


pg.2

Roberts called for a weapons check, then gave the order: "Commence fire." Kramer slung his other weapon, an M240 machine gun, into position and unleashed a series of 30 shots, each hitting just in front of the bow — no small feat of accuracy given the bouncing target and the high winds swaying the chopper. When the go-fast ignored them, Kramer trained his rifle's laser-guided sights on the Yamaha engines — the bull's-eye no bigger than a shoebox. With painstaking care to avoid the fuel tanks, he fired a single shot, burning through the metal housings and killing the first motor. Two shots later and the third and final motor was dead. "The driver just threw his hands up," said Roberts. "Mission complete, no one was hurt, and the cavalry is on the horizon to take the bad guys into custody. This is a gentleman's war."

Throughout the 1980s and '90s, go-fasts simply outran U.S. drug forces. Coast Guard helicopters would track the shipments from overhead but had no authority to use force. The brazen smugglers knew the rules and would laugh at or even flip off the Coast Guard bird hovering above them. For more than a decade, kingpins lived the Miami Vice life — cash, women, and speedboats.

But in 1998, the Coast Guard convinced the Justice Department to authorize a novel antidrug technique: training marksmen to fire high-caliber bullets into the outboard motors. With an average of two shots per engine, practically any boat could be debilitated at zero diplomatic cost. Only problem was, unlike other units of the military, the "Coasties" are more civilian than commando, so the idea of armed airborne ops against boats raised immediate suspicion. Coast Guard brass fretted that flying snipers might be a bunch of yahoo cowboys. They were right. The early HITRON pilots — recently liberated from the Army or Navy — were hotshots who delighted in buzzing the bridge and rattling the gentlemanly admirals.

To counter the risks of killing innocent boaters and sinking the Coast Guard's noble history of search-and-rescue missions, the Justice Department drew up an elaborate system of rules to govern shooting ops (the target must be moving, have no flag, and be suspected of drug smuggling). Following these guidelines, the Coasties have flourished. While thousands of street cops and sting operations try to snag a half-pound here or a kilo there, HITRON fishes upstream, catching the traffickers shortly after they depart the inland cocaine labs of South America. Over the past decade, HITRON ops have confiscated $9 billion worth of cocaine — roughly 10 to 20 percent of all coke intercepted by the feds. Only one boat is known to have escaped the helicopters, limping toward shore when its pursuer ran low on fuel. In the other 130 cases where HITRON was summoned, snipers either totaled the engine or the smugglers surrendered — and only one trafficker has ever been injured by flying engine shrapnel. But even with their near-perfect record, HITRON is handicapped by its budget. While the Navy or Marines can throw hundreds of millions of dollars into weapons research, HITRON has been patrolling the entire eastern Pacific and Caribbean — a total area larger than the continental U.S. — with a fleet of only eight helicopters, several of which are usually in the shop for repair. In other words, the entire southern gateway is covered by a measly four helicopters. "It's like having two cops to give parking tickets for the whole nation," one HITRON crew member said. (HITRON is now upgrading its fleet to 10 MH-65C Dolphin helicopters.)


pg.3

Despite their marginal machinery, Coast Guard officials place great value on HITRON. They know if they can't cripple a go-fast before it hits a country's territorial waters — usually the 12 nautical miles closest to land — that the game is up. And though Washington crows about cooperation in the drug war, the reality on the ground is more complicated. According to interviews with Coast Guard and foreign drug officials, our putative allies Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Venezuela are not always cooperative. In particular, one Coast Guard officer said, "the Mexicans are very, very difficult."

HITRON's mission is further complicated by the atomization of the coke business. In the late eighties, several huge cartels ran the show. Today, the business is decentralized, entrepreneurial, and fly-by-night. With the advent of smaller Colombian cartels, an alliance with the Mexican mob was inevitable, and usually the shipments are directed to one of the big three Mexican cartels: the Sinaloa, the Gulf, or the Juarez. Colombia's FARC guerrillas, for example, have been linked to multiple Mexican cartels, selling roughly $428 million in cocaine — more than half their annual supply — to the Mexicans. And the recent release of a top member of the Arellano-Félix drug cartel (a dismembered network once favored by the FARC) will likely increase traffic on the FARC-Mexico cocaine highway.

But HITRON is just the tip of a long and invisible spear. At a command center in Key West, representatives from the CIA, DEA, FBI, NSA, and Department of Defense coordinate antidrug efforts while Navy ships across the region relay go-fast sightings and suspicious activity. "This is law enforcement, not warfare," insisted Edward Greiner, the HITRON commander who tactfully calls the sniper shots "disabling fire."

While it's easy to focus on the cocaine that slips by — or its stable market price, or smugglers' craftiness in finding new routes — HITRON provides something even more valuable than the cocaine itself: the crew. After being arrested, suspected traffickers are handed over to FBI and DEA agents working with Panama Express, an intelligence operation founded in 2000. Led by tenacious Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Ruddy, PANEX's now-permanent investigative team has — with the help of a platoon of informants — nabbed over 1,250 drug runners.

Working out of Tampa, Florida, PANEX targets the cartel leadership by interrogating and then cutting deals with arrested traffickers. To avoid a lengthy prison term or a one-way ticket back to Colombia, they agree to take on the world's most dangerous job: working as a U.S. agent inside the cartels of South America. It is these informants — sometimes working for years at the highest levels — who help the feds ambush tankers and fishing boats stuffed to the gills with cocaine. One such bust came in March 2007 when the Coast Guard and PANEX snagged 34,000 pounds from the hold of a rusty freighter off the coast of Panama — at the time the largest cocaine seizure ever.

pg.4

For a week last fall, I immersed myself in HITRON at its Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters, a massive airplane hangar that's meticulously clean and weirdly Spartan. I interviewed pilots and crew members, watched riveting chase videos, and flew on helicopter training missions as the pilots zoomed low over the Atlantic, searching for cokemobiles.

But just how harrowing is it from the traffickers' point of view? The Coast Guard let me find out. One evening at dusk, it stuck me aboard what may be the fastest boat in the country — a 1,000-horsepower go-fast with a full tank of gas and a top speed of 70 mph. With a burly Coastie named Rich as my guide, I was sent off with simple orders: Get lost. I roared off into the sunset with a 10-minute lead time; after that, a pair of Coast Guard choppers would hunt me down. How long could I outwit them? As it turned out, locating the choppers at that speed is nearly impossible, and both helicopters were above me faster than I could say, "Let me drive again." Rich yanked the boat into a sick U-turn that felt like it was going to roll us, but the helicopters circled wide, and within 30 seconds we were again in bullet range. The HITRON sniper trained a laser right on our motor and I took some comfort in knowing these guys only kill Yamahas.

Experienced traffickers who are aware that HITRON can't legally shoot them sometimes throw their bodies atop the engines, defying the sniper to take them out. But even if a bullet didn't kill you, there is practically no way to avoid being catapulted into the open ocean. From the smuggler's point of view, there are only two options: give up or shoot back at your pursuers.

"If they downed a chopper, the wrath of hell would be upon them," said Roberts, who noted that in his three years of flying interception missions, traffickers had never fired back at HITRON. This isn't to say HITRON doesn't fear some kind of retribution. "We wear helmets with visors and no one ever sees our faces," Roberts added, "which is good, because otherwise a Pablo Escobar type might send some goons up here to send us a message." (Certain last names were changed in this article to provide anonymity to HITRON members.)

I began to understand why HITRON is the perfect military mission for these young soldiers. The Coast Guard is not nearly as bureaucratic as the Army or Navy. Vacation and work schedules mirror civilian life enough for the team to feel like an extended family, and most of the crew are married with children. And despite its adrenaline-fueled missions, the Coast Guard culture is still as old-school as a Midwestern fire department. HITRON brass award prizes for good behavior that include books, free sailboat rides, and savings bonds. While Navy pilots might be found at raucous local watering holes, the Coasties are more into Cabernet and goat cheese. At a recent wine tasting I attended in Jacksonville with HITRON members, the overall vibe was quiet, understated confidence. Roberts, for example, has a restored Chevy Nova, no Coast Guard stickers, and just an air-speed indicator slotted into the dashboard — an inside joke for fellow pilots. "We don't market ourselves," said one crew member. "A corporation needs marketing and national recognition. We don't. The people who do the funding in Washington all know what HITRON does."

Apparently, so do the cocaine cartels, who in the past two years have begun an even more audacious smuggling op: mini-submarines, built in the jungles of Colombia by FARC guerrillas. Navigating just below the surface, these mini-subs hold a four-man crew and thousands of pounds of cocaine, and a handful have been seized since 2005. But unlike a real submarine, these are homemade fiberglass contraptions, badly painted, barely welded, and capable of a maximum speed of only eight mph. The journey from Colombia to Mexico at that rate could take a week. Now HITRON has a new target — the go-slows.

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cavman
June 2, 2008, 08:28 AM
Just about all I know about Drug Running is in this article. However, some observations

Those guys are pretty good shots. (I bolded the "shoebox target size" line in article)

With the claim of 10% to 20% of total Federal seizure is being done with only those Four helicopters, the US is not serious about the Drug Traffic. (the number of helicopters should be quintupled)

Next thread title: What caliber for Submarines? (last paragraph)

cpttango30
June 2, 2008, 09:02 AM
If the gobmunt was serious about drugs there would be so much orange floating nad flying around the cost it would be like a ring of fire.

dm1333
June 2, 2008, 10:16 AM
Other than the "Cabernet and goat cheese" comment the article was pretty good. A good grill can be found at nearly every CG unit but goat cheese? :rolleyes:

32winspl
June 2, 2008, 11:44 AM
Of course, I don't imagine any Cartel "forward observer" is on the lookout for a restored Chevy Nova with an airspeed indicator buried in the dashboard. Little things like this imbedded in an article just might get that pilot dead, and others too, if the hit-squad chooses to follow that car around for a while before acting.

Acera
June 2, 2008, 02:07 PM
cpttango30 said:If the gobmunt was serious about drugs there would be so much orange floating nad flying around the cost it would be like a ring of fire.

If the gobmunt was serious about drugs, we would have solved a large portion of the heroin problem, don't we own the country that produces 2/3+ of it (Afghanistan)???


Drug war will never be won, while there is so much money and power involved. Sorry for all you LEOs, you can't win........the game is too big.

Sergeant Sabre
June 2, 2008, 04:16 PM
the US is not serious about the Drug Traffic

Well DUH!

don't we own the country that produces 2/3+ of it (Afghanistan)???

Afghanistan is widely known to be the world's chief exporter of opium and heroin. The Taliban, who were vehemently anti-drug, had the opium growers under control. However, they used brutal and ruthless operations to quell the heroin trade. With the Taliban gone, and the US's attention divided, the opium-growers have flourished.

Drug war will never be won, while there is so much money and power involved. Sorry for all you LEOs, you can't win........the game is too big.

Agreed

Yellowfin
June 2, 2008, 04:26 PM
They don't want to win. They want it always to be there so they can have an enemy to fight to look good politically and keep a lot of people employed.

Sergeant Sabre
June 2, 2008, 05:01 PM
They don't want to win

Who is "they"?

CypherNinja
June 2, 2008, 07:53 PM
What caliber for Submarines?

.50 or 20mm with supercavitating profile bullets? :D

Fish828
June 2, 2008, 08:08 PM
What caliber for Submarines?
I don't think this current strategy would even work for submarines. Any type of normal gun and bullet are utterly ineffective against anything underwater. I know Mythbusters and many other people have tested this before with almost every caliber under the sun. I think, if I remember correctly, after around three feet or so the bullet becomes completely ineffective.

Also, I just looked up those supercaptivating profile bullets and they only work on objects on the water surface or very near the water surface. I guess it would then depend how deep these submarines are traveling.

DougDubya
June 2, 2008, 09:04 PM
Whatever happened to the .499 Leitner Wise AR conversions the Coast Guard was looking into?

Big Bore
June 2, 2008, 09:20 PM
the Justice Department drew up an elaborate system of rules to govern shooting ops (the target must be moving, have no flag, and be suspected of drug smuggling)

So, under these rules, who's boat can't be shot?

Kharn
June 2, 2008, 09:26 PM
Fish828:
The cartel's current boats do not qualify as true submarines, they can only lower their profile above the waterline, they do not fully submerge. Painted blue, they're hard to spot in the water, but a .50cal would cause them some serious headaches in the bouyancy department.

Kharn

dm1333
June 2, 2008, 09:32 PM
DougDubya,

I don't know, but what they are using is the Robar RC50.

Big Bore,

When a vessel is "flagged" it means they are declaring a nationality. That would rule out 99.99% of the mom and pop boaters out there. Vessels that are not flagged, or stateless, are subject to everybodies jurisdiction.

The vessels that fit the profile of being suspected smugglers are normally open, with between 2 and 4 outboards, large tanks, normally of a type called a "panga". They are also found at distances much further offshore than you would expect of a small open boat. Before the shot can be taken there has to be a "Statement of No Objection" run up through flag rank, probably the Area Commander. The SNO is used for lots of other things too but in this case it serves as a last check before force is used.

What you won't find is force being used against slower vessels like freighters or fishing vessels. Shots are being taken against boats that are running, essentially.

Quoheleth
June 2, 2008, 09:40 PM
Next thread title: What caliber for Submarines? (last paragraph)

This is Sooooooo easy.

It's gotta be....




[wait for it]




SUB sonic!!! :p :p :p

Q

jrfoxx
June 3, 2008, 01:31 AM
so, I have to ask, how exactly do we have the justdiction to open fire on vessels in international waters, who are not a clear and immediate threat to anyone? Is possesion of cocaine even a crime under international law?Unless the boat has U.S. citizens on it, our laws dont apply to them, and certainly not in international waters.Anyone know the poop on this? Or is it just one of thse things we do because we can, or nobody has any power, or interest in stopping us, at least as long as its drug runners we are shooting at? Anyone know the leagl basis for this kind of thing? how can the Coasties fire on ships, but not the Navy (unless they prove a threat)?

Not trying to be a jerk, or say it's a bad thing to do, per se, just curious as to the lagalities of it all.Seems pretty iffy, at best.

The_Shootist
June 3, 2008, 02:03 AM
Just wondering why the cartels (with all the billions at stake) haven'r bought a REAL sub yet. I mean, there must be a few surplus Russian diesel electrics (Kilos' Tangos etc) floating around to buy, along with a crew whose employment prospects are dim otherwise. Heck, even a real mini-sub.

Probably has to do with intelligence. Kinda doubt our SIGInt or even HumanInt is so bad we wouldn't get wind of something like that.

sailortoo
June 3, 2008, 02:37 AM
jrfoxx - I'm way out of date on CG legalities, but basically, Coast Guard is a national law enforcement agency, while the Navy is a military agency - makes all the difference in the law of the sea. The CG can make arrests on the high seas, with cause, while the Navy cannot. I cannot give any current laws to back up what the CG is doing, other than that broad legal aspect. With the drug running on the high seas, and in our coastal waters, the Navy can observe/detect, but must call in the CG to make any boardings or arrests.
sailortoo

rdoggsilva
June 3, 2008, 02:50 AM
As a former Coastie all I can say is well done boys.

Fish828
June 3, 2008, 02:57 AM
Kharn -

I was wondering about that. I figured they couldn't go that deep considering what they are but that bullets also can't go that deep. That makes more sense now. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Kharn
June 3, 2008, 07:23 AM
jrfoxx:
They usually are not flying a flag, which makes them fair game for any interested party to board and investigate, IIRC.

Kharn

TAB
June 3, 2008, 07:26 AM
I really wanted that job when I was a coastie...

dm1333
June 3, 2008, 08:49 AM
jrfoxx,

The Coast Guard has jurisdiction over a US vessel in all waters, including the high seas, right up to another nations territorial seas. The drug runners that are being fired on are either stateless (rescinded all claims to nationality) or assimilated to stateless (not declaring a nationality when questioned). A stateless vessel falls under everbodies jurisdiction. This is perfectly legal and has been tested in court nationally and internationally.

sailortoo,

The Coast Guard is defined as a military service by 14 USC 1, the law that created the Guard in 1915. 14 USC 2 defines the Coast Guard missions, one of which is law enforcement. Our arrest powers don't always end on land depending on the mission or if hot pursuit was involved. Coasties have been assigned to LEDETS (Law Enforcement Detachments) and riding on Navy ships for years to try to cut down on the amount of smuggling.

edit: I just remembered another inaccuracy in the article. Small boat stations get regular training on using disabling fire on engines. But it sounds cooler to say HITRON is the only military unit authorized to shoot out engines.

brerrabbit
June 3, 2008, 09:44 AM
Disregard, reread article

Sebastian the Ibis
June 3, 2008, 01:30 PM
Just wondering why the cartels (with all the billions at stake) haven'r bought a REAL sub yet.

They have tried:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/russiagov/stories/mafia092997.htm

Also does anyone else from Miami remember when that guy shot four cops with his AK last year and every LEO in the state was looking for him? I could have sworn I saw a coast guard sting ray (exterior tail rotor, not enclosed like the dolphins) going around South Miami looking for the guy. There was a customs blackhawk too, do they come with door gunners?

As for the fiberglass turtles the Cartels are using, I think the bow of a coast guard cutter would handle them quite nicely. Perhaps that is why they are called "cutters." :D

Acera
June 3, 2008, 01:38 PM
Ok, clear up my ignorance on this flag thing. If the ship is registered to say Panama, or some other country, and it is flying a flag the USCG can't shoot?

How expensive are flags anyway. Can't they just buy a cheap one and put it on and get by at least one hurdle to running in the open water? From a helo they can probably not see the registration or name, just the flag.

dm1333
June 3, 2008, 02:15 PM
Acera,

These aren't ships that are being shot at, they are smaller open boats, normally with outboards. If we wanted to stop a Panamanian ship there are much easier ways than shooting with small arms from a helicopter. If a Panamanian ship needed to be stopped with disabling fire we would have to go through the State Department and obtain an SNO, and then go ahead with the disabling fire. I can't vouch for how easy that is but it has been done before.

When talking about a vessel being "flagged" I am actually referring to the vessel being registered in a country. Just buying a countries flag, such as Panama, and flying it from the stern will not suffice.

ZeSpectre
June 3, 2008, 02:30 PM
All that expense, all that manpower, to deal with a problem that could more easily be impacted by legalization and taxation.

Quoheleth
June 3, 2008, 02:38 PM
All that expense, all that manpower, to deal with a problem that could more easily be impacted by legalization and taxation.

Actually, the taxation thing was already tried. I cannot provide a citation for this, and I forget if it was a state or federal thing, but they (whomever "they" was - local, state, federal) started going after drug trafficers on tax fraud, failure to declare income, payroll problems, sales tax, etc., something like that.

Tried the old Al Capone bit.

Apparantly the courts were getting more and more picky on what was a legit drug bust, so they got em on drugs and varying forms of tax fraud.

Q

ZeSpectre
June 3, 2008, 02:43 PM
No I mean legalize it and then tax it like alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

feedthehogs
June 3, 2008, 07:52 PM
One evening at dusk, it stuck me aboard what may be the fastest boat in the country — a 1,000-horsepower go-fast with a full tank of gas and a top speed of 70 mph

Anemic. There's bass boats that do 70.
People are so easily inpressed when hanging around government stooges and tax payer supplied toys.

dm1333
June 3, 2008, 09:20 PM
Of course there are bass boats that do 70. On absolutely flat water. We're talking about boats that will do 70 in a 5' chop and still be pretty comfortable.

Then again I'm just one of those government stooges :rolleyes:

Acera
June 3, 2008, 10:41 PM
dm1333, I understand what size the ships/boats are. I live on the gulf coast and have frequently spent time on Donzi's, Fountains, and on one lucky day a poker run in a 42' Cigarette that was worth a little over $250,000. Guess what they were all registered under the U.S. Flag. Does this mean that the coasties could have shot us if we had resisted? According to the article, no. These are the kind of boats, and one I rode on a little suspect, that the cowboys use to run their junk. It seems that trying to be politically correct may hamper their efforts.

dm1333
June 3, 2008, 11:04 PM
Acera,

The boats you spent time on are not the kind of boat drug runners use. Think of an open hull, 30' or 40' long, packed to the gills with fuel and drugs. Everything else is stripped off and thrown away.

You're question about being shot at is too broad to be answered and I won't even try.

jrfoxx
June 4, 2008, 02:14 AM
A stateless vessel falls under everbodies jurisdiction. This is perfectly legal and has been tested in court nationally and internationally.


ah, that makes sense. I hadnt thought of the idea of them being "stateless".the whole scenario is pretty interesting, to say the least.Thanks

jakemccoy
June 4, 2008, 03:25 AM
That boat looks funner than anything.

kd7nqb
June 4, 2008, 01:38 PM
Sounds like a fun job, keep up the good work guys.

deanf
June 4, 2008, 03:19 PM
"Men's Vogue?" You've got to be kidding me.

granuale
June 4, 2008, 03:21 PM
Well I'm sure this drug war is gonna be won real soon now.

I case you care and didn't know, much of the abuses we read about happening to gun owners, carriers, and dealers are a result of the drug war and how the courts have deferred to state power and decreased individual liberty due to constant assault in the drug war.

"Legalizing drugs would simultaneously reduce the amount of crime and raise the quality of law enforcement. Can you conceive of any other measure that would accomplish so much to promote law and order?" -Milton Friedman 1971

Also see http://www.fff.org/freedom/0490e.asp

usmarine0352_2005
June 4, 2008, 03:29 PM
Next thread title: What caliber for Submarines? (last paragraph)



Depth Charges baby, depth charges.


:evil:

Acera
June 4, 2008, 08:50 PM
dm1333, You might need to check out the types of boats I listed, they are almost exactly what the drug runners use. They the go fasts thats been the choice for many years. Look at the history of the cigarette line of boats. If it is registered, it appears to be disallowed under the strict rules of engagement. dm1333, if you like I could post pictures to educate you. Here is a wiki link for you; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go-fast_boat

The question about being shot at was in the context of the article, I understand if you don't have a background in that area, but thanks for your attempt to understand.

Acera
June 4, 2008, 08:58 PM
Just found this article about the same thing from 1999, obviously they have been doing this for a while.

http://www.helis.com/news/1999/uscgfire.htm


CNN article on the same thing, much less content;
http://www.cnn.com/US/9909/13/coast.guard.drugs.01/

Victor Romen
June 5, 2008, 08:26 AM
They have switched from the Robar to a Barrett M107CQ with a S&B scope or optic/red dot. They are also switching from the H-68 Stingray to the H-65 Dolphin.

http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=249764
http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=249816

wolf_from_wv
June 5, 2008, 04:12 PM
Bullets as long as hot dogs... Or cartridges?

A new .50? The .50 BMG bullets I've seen have been a little bigger than a Vienna Sausage...

S4gunn
June 5, 2008, 05:31 PM
I don't know much about boat design but why can't one of these boats have a smaller engine mounted inboard? Wouldn't the CG folks have more problems with shooting out this engine (esp if it was a covered bump)?

The the benefits of having a "limp to shore" V8 motor might be overshadowed by the added weight of the backup engine and added drag of the propellor shaft (although this could be raised and lowered)...

-g

http://lagringasblogicito.blogspot.com/2007/07/another-type-of-harvest-in-la-mosquitia.html
http://www.snopes.com/photos/boats/drugrunner.asp

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