INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd goes inside one of the homemade submarines that smugglers pack with drugs in Central and South America and send towards U.S. shores.
A shocking $180 million drug bust off the coast of Honduras has shined a light on smugglers' increased use of drug subs.
Drug subs, built by hand by drug cartels in the jungles of Colombia, are loaded with cocaine and sent toward US shores.
They're actually not true submarines because for now they don't fully submerse under the water. They have vents for air circulation and two small portals for navigating.
INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd boarded the first drug sub ever captured.
The first journalist to ever step onboard one of the semi-submersible boats, Boyd described his first impressions as he climbed inside. There was an "overwhelming smell of diesel and very cramped quarters."
Up front, Boyd points out a very basic navigation system built by hand. The system includes a steering wheel, throttle, fuel gauge, speedometer, and compass. Drugs are stored in the front of the boat in the primary cargo hold. Four men packed themselves into the small cabin Boyd sat in. The men would lie down and sleep directly on the floor of the sub.
The estimated haul of the drugs they were moving is estimated at $100 million. The drugs are wrapped in a protective material to prevent water damage.
Now the drug cartels are starting to build larger, more sophisticated versions of the drug sub, and they can cost upwards of $2 million to manufacture.
That means deploying more radar and more surveillance aircraft.
In the Honduras bust the smugglers sank the submarine and tried to escape in a life raft, but they were apprehended.