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Yacht captain arrested with 620 pounds of cocaine

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by rhinotub, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That's all well and good, and I've also had nothing but good experiences with the USCG. but what about these boys?
    " U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and put under surveillance by Homeland Security officers "

    As far as being listed for charter, that's not unusual for an American boat, but that's a long way from actually being chartered. It's being actively for sale would certainly peak my interest into the owner's finances if I were an investigator.
  2. Felipe

    Felipe Senior Member

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    According to my calcutions, the market value of the cocaine was more than the market value of the boat. The captain may be a criminal, but he was focused.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I worked for a guy who had his boat searched in P.R.

    The interior was totally ruined with holes cut in stringers, mattresses and cushions cut open.

    The USCG were totally un co operative when nothing was found and told the guy sue us if you want something.

    The Owner decided against taking on the Federal Govt in court and paid to fix it himself after his insurance declined the claim.
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    We were boarded a couple of years ago out of Ponce Inlet. The boarding officer ask if we any guns on board before he boarded. He had to get more paper for his clipboard. Once they were satisfied all was secure below and not in our hands, The boarding officer requested all on deck (they were already, dawgs and cats) and requested that I pointed out where all guns were. It took a while, he made sure all chambers were clear, he took the clips, Pockets full, he ask for a bag, I gave him a pillow case. He filled it (the pillow case), and continued a courteous safety check. 45 minutes later, before he stepped off, I got my pillow case of clips back. I had to stop him reminding him of the first clips he put in his pockets. I got them rite back with a smile.
    Da guys have a job. It gets confusing sometimes who they work for. I felt a little naked for a few minutes but the boarding crew were polite and thought full. Clips were reloaded before the 44mlb cleared astern 50 feet.
    Unlike our local cops (who I have mentioned before) the Guard has proven to me, they have a job, if your up front, it's quick and painless. No matter if THEY were out gunned.
    BTW, 2000 rounds of NAT0 7.62x39 did not fit in the pillow case. Boarding officer did not want to DRAG it around during the ships inspection. I was not allowed near it during the inspection. He was still cool about it.

    Did I ever tell anybody about my tude problem? It's not just a name.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    That's the kind of horror story one reads about. I can't imagine being caught in that situation. It's a bit like when a swat team shows up at the wrong house and destroys it. Not quite as bad as when a demolition team gets the wrong house. They may feel they have some kind of cause to do that, but they don't, regardless of the information they have. Until they actually find something they are way out of line. It's like they're fighting a war and made you the enemy and don't care about civilian casualties.

    This is something to make sure you are insured against just as is piracy. This, regardless of who did it, is a horrific act of vandalism. Now even then the insurer would require your participation in a suit.

    This reminds me years ago of an incompetent small town sheriff's department that decided certain teenagers must be drug users even though they had no evidence. So they decided they'd make them sorry and raided their school lockers, their cars and their homes. I saw one car left in a restaurant parking lot, completely stripped. They even left the seats sitting out in the lot rather than in the car. The kid handled it far better than I would have. He said he didn't use any but even if he did, every kid in school knew they were doing this so the ones who did had long ago dumped any drugs they had. His parents didn't react as calmly. They moved the family and sued the county. They did win and it resulted in a tax increase for all and the election of new commissioners and sheriff. This was near a marina we frequented.
  6. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    A lot of the horror stories data back from the wild 80s and early 90s, they are mostly anecdotal

    It s different nowadays although this incident is going to increase suspicion on all of us traveling from the Bahamas, what a shame. Even if this a jerk cooperated, I hope they throw the book at him, and throw away the keys. It s like crooked politicians, their crimes are worst because they violated the trust placed in them, in this case by the owner.

    Whether the boat was on charrter or not makes no difference unless it can be proven that the drugs were brought in by the guest(s) ...this is clearly not the case here as the captain was caught unloading and there were no guests on board.

    I think the owner is in for a rough ride and will face multiple investigations in his finances just to make sure he is not involved. The legal bills are going to be huge, and as usual the winners will be the blood sucking lawyers.

    On a positive note I am glad to hear that DHS and USCG is watching what is happening along on shoreline. Kudos to them from spotting the transfer. Over the years I have seen CG cutters on patrol up and down west of Bimini, I ve been called on 16 a couple of times and asked for information incl doc nr, destination, my name nr of pax etc.

    I ve only been boarded 4 times, 3 in US waters (port Everglades, port of Miami, and east river NY) and once by Bahamian authorities while anchored at big majors. In every case they were friendly and satisifed every thing was in order. Every time the first thing they asked was about weapons and while I ve never had any on board I understand that as long as you tell them were they are located so they can secure them, it s no big deal.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You must be very happy indeed, because what you see is only a miniscule portion of the surveylance in that area. NOTHING moves in the waters around south Florida without some sort of eyes on it. They may not catch whatever % of the smuggling, but that's not for lack of trying. Anybody, such as this captain, has to be a fool to make drug runs in those waters. From what I here, most doesn't come near our shores until well up the coast, like from the Carolinas to Maine. Yep, old Sonny and Tubbs would be down-right bored in Miami these days.:D
  9. rhinotub

    rhinotub Member

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    I was in Morocco @ 20 years ago, traipsing around. We were in Rabat, in the inner harbor, where strange people play, doing something not altogether legal.

    This 'dude' we were interacting with, said this, verbatim:

    "Big men come late at night with big guns and lots of money in small boats from Maine".
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Lobster boats are designed to carry a lot of weight (in lobsters and gear of course:rolleyes:) and move fast.
  11. rhinotub

    rhinotub Member

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    I loved the image of these offensive linemen sized Maine Mariners, with their nearly indecipherable accents, tying up, handing out wads of cash to the local cops, loading up, and heading back into the night to re-cross the Atlantic, like they were driving to sunday dinner and the Pats game at their sister/girlfriends house.
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Well those lobster boats don't exactly cross the Atlantic, but they (or their predicessors) have been bringing things in from several miles off shore since before prohibition. As for the accents, what do you expect when a guy comes from the most northern part of the U.S. and refers to himself as a "Downeaster"?:D They are a breed onto themselves. Good people.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Opportunity for money turns many into fools, unfortunately. You get by with half a million worth one time so let's go for $5 million the next. The thing is that there isn't a person here (or anywhere) who hasn't at some point in their life had to make a decision between right and profit. Most say "just this once" but the problem is once they cross the line, then it becomes easy for them to justify to themselves doing it more. Whether it's crooked businessmen or hedge fund operators or boat captains, it's all the same. Girlfriends and others make the same choices, "I know something here is shady, but I like the money and what it brings me." The sadness is that these may have been very nice people in many ways, but let greed lead them into crime and will pay for that choice the rest of their lives.
  14. rhinotub

    rhinotub Member

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    Never said they did.

    I think the guy - this white linen draped Moroccan (rhymes with 'pastiche') purveyor - actually said 'Trawler'...

    'Breed' is a good word for it.

    I spent a bunch of my youth in Maine. Pops is from there.

    Beautiful state - especially north. People - odd.
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Not true, came across one towing another to save fuel in August 1988 about a day from the Azores.

    They were heading to Greece from Maine via the Azores and found that they got much better mileage running one and pulling the other, the cockpits were full of blue plastic barrels.

    They didn't want any help and said they would stop by for a beer in Horta but by the time we had refuelled and got going they had not shown up.

    I sometimes wonder if they ever made it as the weather really turned nasty after Azores towards Gib so it would have been tough for those little guys especially if they were travelling with all those barrels full.

    This was the same trip where we had assisted a small sailboat that was 6 weeks out of St Maarten and had been beclamed for most of it.
  16. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The article is as wonky as the story.

    It says previously they brought 485 lbs in worth $550k now the 650 lb they just got busted with is worth 5 to 6 million.

    Unless of course they are bringing in stuff that is already cut to heck but why bring in so much benign material when the same volume of purer gear will bring greater rewards I would think.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Inflation. It happens whenever a politician is running for office or his poll number slip or he's looking for a raise.:cool:

    BTW, who ever heard of cocaine being bundled in shipments of 485 lbs or 650 lbs. That's 220.454545 Kgs. and 295.454545 kgs. Drug cartels are notoriously good at counting weight (tends to happen when a short count gets you dead) and they ship in kgs. Either someone on this side can't count or someone's pockets need to be checked.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The numbers didn't add up.....the previous trip with 462lbs was worth $550,000, yet this trip with 652lbs or whatever is worth $5-6million.....unless they just got paid the $550,000 from the previous trip for whoever hired them, financed the load, for importing it and $550,000 was their cut of the trip.
  19. Chevelle

    Chevelle New Member

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    Local Update,
    Secret Spot is finally getting some TLC. Q flag is down after a week and a crew (in crew shirts) is washing down the boat. the boat has only ever had 2 or 3 crew it seems. Owner is looking for and probably already hired a new captain.

    I had not read the article about the court appearance, interesting. I (and others) figured there was no way that was the first run. The boat has not been seized, to the best of my knowledge.
  20. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    They have not been able to get away with that for years now. They picked the wrong boat to do that to with a political connected owner and that kind of behavior stopped.

    I was stopped once delivering a boat from Key West to Sarasota that had been used to smuggle coke from the Bahamas while on charter, caught and then later released to the owners. When they did the search when I was on it they found a kilo of coke still on board that they had missed 6 months ago during the first search and arrest. It's an interesting story but the crew and I spent 12 hours in hand cuffs on the bow of the CG cutter sitting on mattresses with blankets tied to the railings for shade till it was all straightened out. Then once we pulled into St. Pete we were released and the boat returned to us. The CG was very careful searching the boat again and in fact had me sign a waver declaring they had done no damage to the boat during the search. I did take the CG cutters captain by surprise when I kiddingly told him I expected them to replace the full, unopened, bag of Chips Ahouy cookies of ours that his crew ate while running our boat. :)

    We also got to take our own mug shots. Because the CG crew member assigned to do it did not know how to load the film into the Polaroid camera that they were using at the time. And since we happened to have the same model camera on board our boat they asked us how to load theirs and then sheepishly asked us to each others picture because he didn't know how to use it. I'm not making this up. And there is more.

    But lets just say it was a long weird day to say the least.