JACKSONVILLE, FLA.—On October 27, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Air and Marine P-3 aircraft operating out of the National Air Security Operations Center (NASOC-JAX) in Jacksonville, Fla., supporting the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF)-South, assisted in the interdiction and seizure of cocaine worth $7 million.
Two Honduran nationals were transporting cocaine on board an un-named go-fast vessel along a route traditionally used by drug traffickers to transport illicit substances from South America to North America.
On scene in the Western Caribbean Sea, assisting in the interdiction of the 30-foot go-fast, was a multinational cooperative including the CBP P-3, a U.S. Navy P-3, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, a Colombian Navy vessel, a Colombian Air Force C-560, and other supporting units from the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
The Colombian Navy vessel intercepted and seized the go-fast, then towed it into port for a thorough search. A total of 627 pounds of cocaine valued at $7 million was recovered from the go-fast, as well as 18 containers of fuel. The two Hondurans, the contraband and go-fast vessel are in custody of Colombian law enforcement.
The P-3s’ distinctive detection capabilities allow highly-trained crews to identify emerging threats well beyond the land borders of the U.S. By providing surveillance of known air, land and maritime smuggling routes in an area that is twice the size of the continental U.S., the P-3s detect, monitor and disrupt smuggling activities before they reach shore.
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.