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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Drug Trafficking / Fighting Charges Related to “Narco-Subs” in Fort Lauderdale

Fighting Charges Related to “Narco-Subs” in Fort Lauderdale


Drug traffickers in Florida use various strategies to circumvent border controls, and one particularly advanced method involves the use of “Narco-Subs.” These are literal submarines that travel under the surface of the water – often packed with cocaine and other substances. Authorities are constantly catching these submarines off the coast of Florida, but many vessels pass into the Sunshine State completely undetected. If you are facing charges for your alleged involvement in these operations, it is important to approach your legal defense in the most effective manner possible.

Narco-Subs Are Constantly Passing into Florida Waters 

The Coast Guard and Navy are well aware of the presence of drug submarines in Florida waters. However, the sheer number of submarines makes it difficult for these military branches to catch them all. In February of 2024, the Colombian Navy discovered a narco-sub by accident while searching for missing sailors. The vessel was packed with 4.5 tons of cocaine, and its purely accidental discovery highlights the stealth capabilities of narco-subs.

Potential Penalties for Narco-Sub Involvement in Florida 

Involvement in narco-sub operations can lead to decades in prison. In 2023, Oscar Adriano Quintero Renfigo – also known as the “Prince of Semi-Submersibles” – was sentenced to over 20 years in US prison for his involvement in an extensive narco-sub operation. Renfigo operated an entire fleet of narco-subs and played a direct role in designing them. Four of these subs were intercepted by the Coast Guard between 2015 and 2019, with over 13,000 kilograms of cocaine seized. Ultimately, Renfigo pleaded guilty in 2022 to various drug-trafficking offenses.

Later in 2023, two other cartel members pleaded guilty to a narco-sub conspiracy that would have brought 26,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. This particular cartel custom-built its own fiberglass submersibles with no outsourcing whatsoever with sophisticated in-house manufacturing capabilities. These vessels sailed from Colombia to Mexico, and then finally to the United States. Although authorities in Florida reported that 19,500 kilograms were seized, some of these submarines undoubtedly landed successfully on American soil. It is well within the realms of possibility to face life in imprisonment for involvement in narco-sub operations.

Find a Qualified Drug Trafficking Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

 If you have been accused of drug trafficking operations, it makes sense to connect with a qualified Fort Lauderdale drug trafficking attorney as soon as possible. Involvement with narco-sub operations can lead to some of the most extensive criminal penalties imaginable, and you may face decades or life in prison. Although these penalties are serious, they are by no means guaranteed. Book a consultation with Haber Blank at your earliest convenience to discuss potential defense strategies.




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