U.S. Coast Guard operating secret floating prisons in Pacific Ocean
Publisher: USA Today
Date Written: 28/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21795
In the war on drugs, the U.S. Coast Guard is reportedly turning its cutter ships into floating prisons.
In an effort to staunch the flow of cocaine and other hard drugs from South America to Central America and points north, Coast Guard cutters have been deployed farther and farther from the shore in the Pacific Ocean. When these cutters capture a boat carrying drugs, the smugglers are brought onto the ships and kept shackled to the deck, sometimes outside in the elements, until the Coast Guard makes arrangements for them to be transported back to the U.S. for trial.
But this isn't a wait of just a few hours or days. Often, these waits can last weeks or months, according to new reporting from The New York Times. Coast Guard officials say they can do this because the drug smugglers aren't under arrest until they reach U.S. shores, but some of the worst cases are drawing criticism even from Coast Guard officials.