US Coast Guard detains smugglers

The Coast Guard captured more than 700 suspects and chained them aboard American ships in the 12 months leading up to September 2017.

How US Coast Guard targets smugglers and detains them for months to await trial

Seth Freed Wessler

In an expansion of the war on drugs, the US coast guard is targeting low-level smugglers in international waters – shackling them on ships for weeks or even months before they are formally charged in American courts.

On nights when the November rain poured down and he had not slept at all, Jhonny Arcentales had visions of dying, of his body being cast into the dark ocean. He would imagine his wife and their teenage son tossing his clothes into a pit in a cemetery and gathering at the local church for his funeral.

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