Customs and Border Protection is flying drones over the Caribbean to scout for submarines and speedboats transporting narcotics, Nextgov reports.
Guardian, a maritime version of the Predator drone, is outfitted with search radar and electro/infrared sensors.
CBP currently has 10 drones in its arsenal, but the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General recommended in a May report that the agency not buy more drones because the aircraft are sitting idle.
Dones are reportedly grounded for 63 percent of the time they are supposed to be in the air.
A joint task force from the departments of Defense and Justice is monitoring the Caribbean for submarines used by drug cartels, according to the report.
Rear Adm. Charles Michel, head of the task force, said crime rings only need $1 million to create semisubmersibles that can carry $100 million worth of cocaine.
Since July 2011, the Joint Interagency Task Force-South has intercepted 45 semisubmersibles in the Caribbean.