Coke-filled Sub Busted off Honduran Coast

Almost seven tons of coke were brought to Florida last week.

They were seized in a submarine caught by the Coast Guard after being spotted off the coast of Gracias a Dios.

According to a story on bbc.com, a C-130 fixed-wing aircraft first spotted the self-propelled semi-submersible close to the water’s surface on July 13.

A Coast Guard cutter was called to intercept the vessel, after US Customs and Border Protection crews also noticed it.

The sub-smugglers jumped into life rafts after pulling a valve inside the craft to sink it with the narcotics on board, Coast Guard Lt Patrick Montgomery told the BBC.

“This is the biggest blow to drug trafficking” in the country’s history, armed forces General Rene Osorio told reporters.

Honduran authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard had discovered 2.8 tons of cocaine through Thursday in initial searches of the wreckage, located at a depth of 36 meters (118 feet) off the country’s eastern coast, Osorio said, adding that another 4.5 tons were found on Friday.

Coast Guard crews took the vessel’s five crew members into custody and were able to retrieve a small portion of the cocaine before the vessel sank.

Osorio said Washington has asked that the seized drugs and the four crew members of the semi-submersible craft arrested two weeks ago – a Honduran and three Colombians, all unindentified – be turned over to them for prosecution in the United States.

But Osorio said his country’s Foreign Ministry will request that the Honduran be tried in his homeland.

“The Coast Guard is always on the lookout for anything that looks suspicious in the water, and that definitely includes 15,000 pounds of drugs,”  Montgomery said.

These semi-submersibles — usually built in Colombian jungles and sent through Pacific waters — occasionally get nabbed. This is the first one caught near Roatan.

What a Great Time To Get Into The Newspaper Business On Roatan!

Journalists, teachers, gays greeted with compassion and understanding by Honduran police

JEFF STRATTON

A lethal combination of ignorance, greed and avarice is making life for many Hondurans miserable on the mainland. In Miami, it makes the news. And it’s not good news.

Here on Roatan, hardly anyone seems to care. However, on a strato-volcanic island off the country’s southern coast, the situation is decidedly different.

Zacate Grande in the Gulf of Fonseca

Zacata Grande, a small spit off the Pacific coast, started up its own radio station — which failed to endear the broadcasters to the wealthy landowners who control the island.

Prominent gay and transgendered leaders on the mainland have been slaughtered, mirroring similar violence in Uganda and Jamaica. Protesting teachers are beaten.

And the Garifuana communities of Roatan and the north coast have recently been hit hard by forced evictions. Yesterday was the anniversary of their arrival on the island in 1797. Covering these sort of stories comes with its own set of risks.

Seems like a good time to go back to soft stuff like “Guess Where I’m Eating?” Hard to get killed that way.