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CBP's Air and Marine Operations Detects Vessel With Over a Ton of Cocaine

Release Date: 
May 4, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) P-3 Airborne Early Warning aircraft crew was conducting operations in international waters off the coast of Costa Rica and detected a suspicious 28-foot panga last month. The aircraft crew maintained surveillance and coordinated with Joint Interagency Task Force South to intercept the vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard arrested three individuals and seized 46 bales of contraband totaling 2,028 pounds of cocaine.

AMO operates maritime patrol aircraft from Jacksonville, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas, to conduct long-range aerial patrols and surveillance missions along the U.S. borders and in drug transit zones in Central and South America. P-3 aircrews detect, monitor, and disrupt smuggling activities before they reach our shores.

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.

File footage is available through U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs via the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System. Watch a video on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations secures the maritime border.

For breaking news and information updates from CBP Air and Marine Operations follow @CBPFlorida @CBPSoutheast and @CBPCaribbean on Twitter.

Last modified: 
September 13, 2018