JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrew provided real-time aerial surveillance and coordinated with the Royal Netherlands Navy to interdict a go-fast vessel carrying 970 pounds of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea as part of joint efforts disrupting drug trafficking routes in the region.
On Oct. 17, a CBP crew aboard a P-3 Airborne Early Warning aircraft tracked a suspicious vessel in international waters near Curacao and relayed information to law enforcement partner agencies supporting Joint Interagency Task Force South(JIATF South).
Personnel from a Royal Netherlands Navy ship intercepted the speedboat following a brief pursuit and arrested four individuals. Law enforcement recovered nearly a half ton of cocaine concealed underneath tarps aboard the vessel.
The P-3 aircraft patrolling during the operation is based at AMO's National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Collaboration is critical to disrupting illicit activity out on the water and we greatly value our international partnerships supporting counternarcotics efforts,” said Director of National Air Security Operations Center - Jacksonville Robert Blanchard. “We’ll continue our efforts to deter maritime drug smuggling with our advanced air surveillance systems.”
Joint Interagency Task Force South, a National Task Force, oversees the detection and monitoring of illicit traffickers and assists U.S. and multinational law enforcement agencies with the interdiction of these illicit traffickers.
CBP Air and Marine Operations is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people. AMO lends critical capabilities and cohesion to an array of border security and maritime law enforcement efforts and uses its sophisticated fleets to detect, sort, intercept, track and apprehend criminals in diverse environments at and beyond U.S. borders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Florida includes travel and trade facilitation and securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border. Find out more and get real-time updates at @CBPFlorida on Twitter.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.