PLUTO off the coast of San Diego (Image: Paul Wedig, DHS S&T)
A panga, a low-riding fishing boat favored by drug runners because of its low freeboard (Image: US Coast Guard))
A drug-running submersible (Image: Department of Justice, DEA)
When someone mentions drug running, most people probably picture a person coming through an airport carrying a suitcase with a false bottom or with balloons stuffed up their nether regions. We don’t usually imagine things like submarines. Unfortunately, the South American drug cartels not only imagine them, but they build and operate them. To help combat these underwater smugglers, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S and T) is operating their own drug-running submarine called PLUTO to develop and test a new generation of detection equipment.
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