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CBP Air and Marine Disrupt Drug Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: 
December 2, 2009

Corpus Christi, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its interagency partners disrupted a maritime smuggling attempt, early Monday arresting three Colombian nationals and recovering 26 bales of cocaine weighing 518 kilograms or close to 1,140 pounds.

A pair of aircraft from the Corpus Christi P3 Operations Center patrolling the open waters in the Eastern Pacific detected an illegal watercraft traveling in the Gulf of Curica.

A Long Range Tracker identified the illegal watercraft as a two-engine go-fast. The crew vectored a U.S. Coast Guard unit to the location to effect the disruption. Suspects aboard the go-fast began dumping bales of cocaine into the ocean and then jumped in the water. The three suspects and the bales of cocaine were recovered and turned over to Panama authorities.

"We are actively patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean looking for illegal or suspicious activity and our efforts have been very successful," said Lothar Eckardt, director, P-3 Operations Center-Corpus Christi. "This disruption demonstrates the effectiveness of our intra agency."

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017