AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircraft detected a vessel concealing seized 2,000 pounds (907 kilos) of cocaine that was intercepted by ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve and Operation Caribbean Guard. The estimated value of the cocaine is $30 million.
“Air and Marine Agents engage in complex coordination to detect and stop vessels that attempt to smuggle narcotics through our coastal areas,” stated Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations at the CBP Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
On Jan. 2, a CBP DHC-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft crew located a suspicious go-fast vessel just off the Dominican Republic.
AMO agents with the USS Zephyr to interdict the suspect vessel. The Zephyr, operating with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment onboard, interdicted the go-fast, detained the four suspected smugglers and seized numerous bales which tested positive for cocaine.
The seized contraband and detainees were transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley for transport to Puerto Rico where they were placed in the custody of Drug Enforcement Administration special agents for prosecution.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities.
AMO's specialized law enforcement capabilities allow AMO to make significant contributions to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts, as well as to federal, state, local and tribal agencies. AMO conducts its mission between ports of entry, in the maritime environment and within the nation’s interior.
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.