US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP Stops Drug-laden Vessel 10 miles off U.S. Coast

Release Date: 
December 19, 2017

Coordinating efforts result in seizure of nearly $4M in marijuana

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) marine unit along with its Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RECOM) partners intercepted a vessel carrying 1500 pounds of marijuana with an estimated wholesale valued at  nearly $4 million.


The AMO crew were patrolling the maritime border, Dec. 12, near Corpus Christi aboard a 39-foot Midnight Express when the U.S. Coast Guard notified them about a suspicious vessel heading to U.S. shores.

AMO Midnight Express
Air and Marine Operations marine interdiction agents aboard a 39-foot
Midnight Express interdicted a drug-laden boat off the Texas Coast.

The USCG vectored the crew to intercept the vessel about 10 miles out from the Corpus Christi shore. After intercepting the vessel, AMO marine interdiction agents discovered a crew of three Mexican nationals  suspected of smuggling 30 bundles of marijuana. The crew were arrested and the boat and drugs were seized.


“Uniting the efforts of the law enforcement community is a tremendous force multiplier in our collective efforts to detect and intercept maritime threats to safeguard our waterways,” said AMO McAllen Director of Marine Operations Ralph Cabrera. “We will continue to take every opportunity, alongside our partners, to intercept transnational criminal organization’s activity in this area.”


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 taskings. 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; 2,573 arrests; and 37,009 apprehensions of illegal aliens.


Last modified: 
February 3, 2021