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Old 03-11-2014, 08:20   #1
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Smuggling pressure

There was a recent thread, now closed, due to the usual reasons.

Anyway, the *real* thread, before it drifted, contained a topic of interest to all sailors. In the case of the sailboat carrying the illegal contraband, what is known about the captain?

Was he a regular sailor coerced into running blow? So, the question I have is not related to any previous politically biased thread drift, and please don't post a message in this one if those meandering ideas are on your mind.

How many sailors feel they were ever in a situation where (other) people seemed to be soliciting them to join a fleet of smuggler boats? It seems that "regular" sailors would be a prime target, as they would appear harmless to (for instance USCG) by virtue of many uneventful comings and goings.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:35   #2
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Re: Smuggling pressure

I used to live in Richmond Hill Ga. in the 80's, I-95 ran right through the town. Seemingly weekly there was a drug bust on the news on TV, Almost always it was a Cadillac with two to four youths in it, bumper hanging low from the weight and New Jersey plates and they were stopped for speeding. Really, how stupid can you get?
I always thought the real supply was carried by old retired couples in big motorhomes.

I work manufacturing crop dusters, used to be the time honored way for a crop duster to make money in the off season was smuggling, they are used to flying low in over weight aircraft and making off field landings and takeoffs.

Myself the very real threat of being caught and the consequences would keep me from ever being tempted, but I hear the money's good
We have a fleet of aircraft in Morocco used for locust control and firebombing, also for coastal surveillance, they are operated by the Gendarme and there are a lot of big RIB's and aircraft laying around there base from being caught smuggling drugs, it's a shame to see all those 300 HP Yamaha's rotting away., so drug smuggling is big business.
Seen the TV show about the semi-submersibles and now real subs coming from Columbia?

On edit, back to your original question, surely you have to meet some kind of "profile" to be recruited? I bet before someone is approached, most often they know all about you, your bank account, spending habits, debt etc.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:54   #3
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Re: Smuggling pressure

Quote:
On edit, back to your original question, surely you have to meet some kind of "profile" to be recruited? I bet before someone is approached, most often they know all about you, your bank account, spending habits, debt etc.
You're right - the "regular" guy would be substantially riskier than someone against whom they could apply leverage. No doubt.

I suspect this is a big white elephant issue. Probably nobody even wants to talk about it - for fear of attracting attention from EITHER side of the issue... even though they are themselves just the innocent/unknowning bystanders.

In spite of the obviously scary nature of the question, I think it should be kicked around. Relative to the captain of the boat featured in the recent article, I suppose he may not have known what he was carrying. Unfortunately, that line of defense doesn't meet with much approval these days ...
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:14   #4
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Re: Smuggling pressure

At least back in the day with the crop dusters, it spread by word of mouth, if you were an honest guy you worked your butt off and made little money, bu the guys who found the alternate income, they lived well and had an easy life, so pretty soon they were approached by others to see if they could get into some of that "action".
Then a few got caught, several turned states witness to avoid prosecution, some went to prison and I doubt many seek that money making opportunity anymore.
Me, the thought of spending my retirement years in prison puts an immediate halt to that kind of thinking, benefit doesn't outweigh the risk
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:36   #5
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Re: Smuggling pressure

There were 2 movies in the past decade, Cocaine cowboys and Square Grouper, about the fishermen and pilots that lived out in the Everglades. Cropdusters making a bit of money on the side might be another compelling Billy Corben documentary.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:44   #6
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Re: Smuggling pressure

Me too. Just from the perspective of my having a holistic view of body and spirit, I would not have any appreciation for clandestine income of that nature. I don't even drink soda from aluminum.

The nation's a seive for blow these days. $100 billions go to the U.S. alone, according to something I read recently. Not sure what span of years was involved. But - to put it in perspective, that's 3,000 takedowns, if each is of the size of the haul in last week's news.

Doubt if all that was on sailboats. In another story, I read where it's fairly easy to dissolve and extract from diesel. Does the USCG check the fuel?
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Old 06-04-2015, 21:23   #7
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Re: Smuggling pressure

Had a pilot friend who went to the University of Arizona in the late '60s. He got into flying there getting his private license. He said more than one of his instructors ran drugs, mostly marjuana, across the border as a sideline. They were apparently quite open about the trade and had plenty of spending money from it. He later heard they'd gotten a little too bold and prosperous and the Fed's got the word on their sideline. Those that stayed it the trade eventually got busted either because of the increased police attention to airplane smuggling or using too much of their product as the trade switched to cocaine.
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