Air and Marine Operations and Partners Seize Nearly Two Tons of Cocaine, Disrupt Smuggling Attempt
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) National Air Security Operations Center—Jacksonville (NASOC—J) P-3 crew, United States Navy (USN), and United States Coast Guard (USCG) partners disrupted a smuggling attempt in the Caribbean. The USN and USCG crews successfully recovered approximately 1.9 tons of cocaine, denying narcotics traffickers approximately $65 million dollars in illicit proceeds.
On December 18, a NASOC—J P-3 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) crew detected a suspect 45-foot go fast vessel (GFV), and coordinated with Joint Interagency Task Force—South (JIATF—S) and the USS Comstock (LSD-45) with embedded USCG law enforcement detachment crew for interdiction. The USN and USCG crews recovered 66 bales of cocaine, totaling 3,781 lbs at sea weight.
The President and Secretary of Defense announced the Enhanced Counter Narcotics mission on 1 April 2020, and since then the Department of State, Department of Defense and other federal agencies have strengthened our methods and improved operations in order to obstruct the drug shipments from transnational criminal organizations.
NASOC—Jacksonville forms half of the P-3 operations wing, along with its partner center in Corpus Christi, Texas. These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North and South America in defense of the borders of the United States and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband.
Air and Marine Operations safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2020, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the seizure or disruption of 194,220 pounds of cocaine, 278,492 pounds of marijuana, 15,985 pounds of methamphetamine, 952 weapons and $51.5 million, 1,066 arrests, 47,872 apprehensions of illegal aliens.