A Canadian man is charged with drug possession, smuggling and violating immigration laws after admitting to using a Bond-style submersible to speed across the Detroit River. Surprisingly, it didn’t go as smoothly as he planned.
Glen Mousseau, 49, was found floating unconscious in the Detroit river by federal agents in the early hours of June 5. Tethered to Mousseau were two large bundles of marijuana weighing 120 kg, turning his merchandise instantly into evidence. A federal judge denied bail for Mousseau at a hearing yesterday, according to the Detroit News. If convicted, Mousseau faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
People have been smuggling things across the U.S-Canada border crossing for as long as there has been stuff to smuggle and borders to do it over. Most famously during prohibition, when rum runners would drive across the thick ice of the Detroit River to Canada to purchase unlawful liquors. The Detroit-Ontario border is currently crossable by either the Ambassador Bridge or tunnel and is one of the busiest trade ports in the U.S. Federal agents can’t possibly inspect all of the goods coming into the U.S., and some illegal stuff is bound to slip through.
Per the Detroit News, Mousseau was previously caught on dry land during a traffic stop in China, Michigan on May 10. He was driving a U-Haul truck and carrying $US97,060 ($138,611) in cash. He quickly admitted his entire smuggling scheme to Homeland Security, which had gone off without a hitch seven times already. From the News:
Mousseau told investigators his organisation had successfully smuggled marijuana, cocaine or money approximately seven times, according to the affidavit.
When deputies stopped Mousseau, he was scouting for a spot to smuggle the $US97,060 ($138,611) into Canada, the government alleged.
“Mousseau stated that he provides GPS coordinates to an individual in Canada, who traverses the river using a submersible watercraft,” the agent wrote. “Mousseau would then send the contraband or currency and his associate back across the river.”
Investigators searched his cell phones and found messages with several people regarding GPS coordinates along the Detroit River shoreline that matched known smuggling locations, according to the affidavit.
Mousseau admitted he owned a submarine seized by U.S. Border Patrol agents on April 23 from the Zug Island shoreline, according to the affidavit.
While federal agents seized the money, they released Mousseau under orders that he needed to stay in a hotel in Flat Rock, Michigan while the feds investigated. Perhaps they made him pinky swear, but it’s clear how seriously Mousseau took that promise as he went right back to smuggling 12 days later.
He left behind a mountain of evidence in his hotel room, including five cell phones, a laptop computer and a dry suit, according to the News. Federal agents welcomed him back into custody with open arms after fishing him and his marijuana from the Detroit river 14 days later.
And just in case you think Mousseau had a novel idea, this also isn’t an “underwater scooter’s” first drug smuggling rodeo either. From the News:
Using the underwater scooters to haul drugs is not unprecedented. Two Dutchmen were accused six years ago of planning to use a Seabob-Jet to haul more than $US20 ($29) million worth of cocaine into Scotland.
The Seabob can travel almost silently at speeds of 21 km per hour and retails for around $US9,000 ($12,853) to $US16,500 ($23,564), pretty perfect for submarine smuggling if you ask me. Seabobs are mainly used as playthings in tropical waters. They’re not common in the Great Lakes due to pretty poor underwater visibility.
James Bond faced some villainous dudes in the 1965 film Thunderball who had very similar equipment. Bond himself, however, dropped into the fight with the superior underwater jet pack of course. Their Seabobs are more nefarious looking however, and involve harpoon cannons.