CBP Air Crew Leads USCG to $55M Cocaine Seizure
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) P-3 Long Range Tracker (LRT) crew worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to seize over two tons of cocaine valued at nearly $55 million.
The crew was patrolling the Eastern Pacific Aug. 3 in coordination with the Joint Interagency Task Force South when they detected a Low Profile Vessel (LPV).
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted the LPV, apprehending four people who were moving 63 bales of cocaine weighing 4,215 lbs. valued at $54,938,310.
“We will take every opportunity to intercept transnational criminal organizations engaged in narcotics smuggling,” said National Air Security Operations Center Corpus Christi Director Allen Durham. “This case demonstrates our commitment to working with our partners around the world to dismantle criminal enterprises.”
The P-3s have been an integral part of the successful counter-narcotic missions operating in coordination with the Joint Interagency Task Force South. AMO P-3 aircrews patrol a 42 million-square mile area, which includes more than 41 nations, the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and seaboard approaches to the United States.
The Joint Interagency Task Force South coordinates detection and monitoring of illicit trafficking across air and maritime domains, and facilitates international and interagency interdiction to enable the disruption and dismantlement of illicit and converging threat networks in support of national and hemispheric security.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. AMO interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigates criminal networks and provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national tasking. 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 2017, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of 269,790 pounds of cocaine, 384,230 pounds of marijuana, 5,721 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,089 weapons, and $26.1 million; as well as 2,573 arrests and 37,009 apprehensions of illegal aliens.
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.