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U.S. Coast Guard operating secret floating prisons in Pacific Ocean

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War on Drugs: US Coast Guard floats secret prisons

If you've followed the War on Terror at all, you're almost certainly familiar with the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — a U.S. prison that exists outside the realm of the U.S. justice system.

Now, it turns out, there's a secret U.S. detention system in the War on Drugs, too — and this one is aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters sailing in the Pacific Ocean.

In an effort to staunch the flow of cocaine and other hard drugs from South America to Central America and points north, Coast Guard cutters have been deployed farther and farther from the shore in the Pacific Ocean. When these cutters capture a boat carrying drugs, the smugglers are brought onto the ships and kept shackled to the deck, sometimes outside in the elements, until the Coast Guard makes arrangements for them to be transported back to the U.S. for trial.

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