Man Wearing Wetsuit And Scuba Tanks Caught Smuggling $1,774,400 Of Cocaine Into The US, Not Named Scuba Steve

by 3 years ago


This is not the movies, the man arrested for smuggling 55 pounds of pure cocaine into the U.S. via the All-American Canal in Southeast California is NOT Adam Sandler dressed up as Scuba Steve. This was not some sh*tty actor wearing a wetsuit and scuba tanks (complete with rebreathers) smuggling 25 packages containing 55 pounds of Colombia’s finest, this was a real man named Evelio Padilla-Zepeda, and he has pleaded guilty to underwater cross-border drug smuggling of cocaine.

Drug smugglers are without a doubt some of the smartest (and dumbest) people alive, constantly coming up with new outlandish ways to smuggle cocaine into America. Recently I brought you news of those dudes who were caught with 16,870 pounds of blow hidden within their submarine, because it’s totally normal for drug smugglers to own and operate submarines. Not too long ago I brought you the story of an off-duty police officer fishing off Port Charlotte, Florida who just happened upon $10 MILLION WORTH OF COCAINE. This case though, this is almost comical. Somehow Evelio Padilla-Zepeda thought he’d just scuba dive his way through the All-American Canal and into America holding 55 pounds of blow, worth an estimated $1,774,400. His plan was to float down the canal a mile past border patrol…and then????

The LA Times reports:

Evelio Padilla-Zepeda admitted that he entered the U.S. via a tunnel from Mexico to a spot on the south bank of the All-American Canal east of Calexico in Imperial County.
The tunnel was 40- to 50-yards long, with a rail system, and was partially submerged at the bank of the canal where it is parallel to the border, prosecutors said. The canal brings water from the Colorado River to farmers.

Padilla-Zepeda was wearing a wetsuit and had scuba tanks when he was arrested. He had 25 airtight packages containing 55 pounds of cocaine. He had hoped to float down the canal for more than a mile and avoid detection by Border Patrol agents, prosecutors said.
Instead, he was spotted by agents using remote video surveillance equipment on the night of April 25.
The smuggler’s gear included two “rebreather tanks” that recirculate an underwater diver’s exhaled breath to prevent tell-tale bubbles from surfacing, prosecutors said.
Padilla-Zepeda, who lives in Mexicali, could face a maximum 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in San Diego federal court on Dec. 7. The cocaine had a value of $1,774,400, prosecutors said.

I didn’t even think about how the rebreathers were to prevent the bubbles…that’s actually somewhat genius. But such is the level of sophistication when you’re dealing with drug smugglers.

TAGSCocainedrug smugglingDrugsscuba