[UPDATE: Not sure what makes this a “whiny” intro here. (That’s my way of saying it’s not. And actually, any tone you might be detecting comes from a whole lot of skepticism about “engine fragment or shrapnel injuries.”) Also, never claimed to be “unbiased” or a “journalist.” But I do live in Frisco – you got that part right.]
Well there’s a whole lot I don’t know about this incident involving a purported cocaine smuggler killed on January 19th, 2010 somewhere in the “Eastern Pacific Ocean.” But, apparently, this smuggler and his boat weren’t too far away from Guatemala City because that’s where he ended up dying after the Coast Guard shot at his engine with a massive rifle mounted on a helicopter.
Feel free to read the account below – it was just released from the 11th District HQ in Alameda, They’re looking into the theory that the purported smuggler died due to “engine fragment or shrapnel injuries.”
Did this shooting get any coverage in Guatemala? No se. Did this shooting get much coverage in any English language publication? Not that I can see. Do the Coasties have video of all this? Oh yes, I’m sure. Does the Coast Guard even know this guy’s name? Maybe not, they haven’t released it, anyway.
Here’s your 21st century Coast Guard – a machine gun for warning shots…
…and when you ignore that, a massive rifle to take out your engine block, presumably a Barrett M82 .50 cal.
I don’t have a photo of one of those helicopter-mounted rifles, but how would you like .50 caliber rifle bullets like these sailing by your head from a chopper one at a time?
Click to see the ammo – it’s the most powerful commonly available cartridge not considered a destructive device under the National Firearms Act. So don’t be surprised when the unarmored engine block of your “go-fast” boat blows up after you pretend not to hear all the warnings you’ve just been given:
Last year, the Alameda-based “maritime security cutter” USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), which is like a destroyer, basically, bigger and badder than anything else the Coast Guard has ever had in warm waters, was on a maritime security mission in the same area. So I suppose this is how the smallest branch of the military is spending part of its time these days, just hanging out near Central America looking for drug boats and submarines. It’s like Miami Vice, West Coast or something.
And that’s it.
Maybe the Coasties will issue a more-detailed report sometime.
Read all about it, after the jump