Overview of Coast Guard Drug and Migrant Interdiction, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, March 11, 2009 [open pdf - 4MB]
From the opening statement of Elijah E. Cummings: "Today, the Subcommittee convenes to examine the Coast Guard's drug and migrant interdiction operations and policies. [...] It is important for us to understand from today's hearing the factors that may be limiting the service's ability to seize additional amounts of illegal drugs. I am particularly concerned to know whether our intelligence capabilities, which are centered on facilities like the Joint Interagency Task Force South, ably represented today by Admiral Joseph Nimmich, are gathering intelligence faster than we can act on it. We will also examine the emerging threats we face. In recent years, smugglers have begun using semi-submersible vessels, some self-propelled and some towed behind other boats. These vessels, known as SPSS [Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible] vessels, can carry large quantities of drugs. In January of this year alone, the Coast Guard removed four such SPSS vessels carrying an estimated combined total of more than 50,000 pounds of cocaine. [...] As with drug interdiction operations, we hope to examine in more detail today the trends that the Coast Guard is observing in migration, particularly as national economies experience a deepening world recession, as well as what measures may be needed to respond to them." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Elijah E. Cummings, Frank A. LoBiondo, Laura A. Richardson, Rick Larsen, Wayne E. Justice, Joseph L. Nimmich, and Howard Coble.
Serial No. 111-13
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html