Jay Bergman, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for the Andean region, told The Houston Chronicle that the discovery confirms narco subs are the next evolution in drug smuggling. It's all part of the dance that drug cartels and law enforcement play: when speed boats or fishing trawlers don't cut it anymore, drug smugglers opt for less detectable smuggling conveyances, like remora-like containers attached to ships and semi-submersibles. Now it seems at least one drug-smuggling organization believes it's time to dive far beneath the ocean's surface to avoid detection.
The narco submarine's builders, however, haven't perfected the design just yet. While the vessel could fully submerge, it would have been teethered to the surface by a nearly 30-foot-long snorkel to deliver air to its engine.
"If somebody is going in one of these things, I'm like, 'What are they thinking?' “ Bergman told the Chronicle. "You can go down, but can't guarantee you can come back up."
♦ Photos of seized Colombian narco sub courtesy of DEA