- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 4, 2010

DEA

Ecuadoreans, DEA seize submarine

The Drug Enforcement Administration said it has helped seize a submarine capable of transporting tons of cocaine.

DEA officials said that the diesel electric-powered submarine was constructed in a remote jungle and captured near a tributary close to the Ecuador-Colombia border. Ecuadorean authorities seized the sub before it could make its maiden voyage.


The sophisticated camouflaged vessel has a conning tower, periscope and air-conditioning system. It measured about nine-feet-high from the deck plates to the ceiling and stretched nearly a 100 feet long. The DEA says it was built for trans-oceanic drug trafficking.

One person has been taken into custody. DEA Andean Regional Director Jay Bergman said the sub’s nautical and payload capacity is a serious development.

Colombia’s drug cartels have been known to use home-built submarines to smuggle large amounts of cocaine past U.S. and Colombian patrol boats to Central America en route to the United States.

Colombian authorities have discovered these vessels from time to time in recent years.

CALIFORNIA

Governor sorry flag mural painted over

SACRAMENTO | Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is apologizing for a decision by state transportation officials to paint over a giant American flag mural on the side of a Northern California freeway.

The 35-foot-long flag was painted on a concrete slab near Interstate 680 in Sunol by three men about two weeks after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Even though the mural had been in clear view of commuters for nearly nine years, a Caltrans spokesman says it wasn’t until last month that someone in the agency asked if the flag was on state property.

Spokesman Allyn Amsk says it was covered up with grey paint Wednesday morning.

In a statement Friday, Mr. Schwarzenegger extended his “apologies to the artists whose mural inspired drivers along 680 for over 8 1/2 years.”

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