DHS Partners Seize 333lbs of Meth in Maritime Smuggling Attempt
SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Office of Field Operations (OFO), U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) worked jointly to track and detain a vessel that departed from Mexico that held 333 pounds of methamphetamine destined for the United States.
The incident began Saturday at approximately 11 p.m. when AMO agents detected a vessel at sea suspected of maritime smuggling. AMO agents tracked the vessel until USCG assets, USBP agents and OFO officers tracked the vessel near Huntington Beach at approximately 4 a.m., Jan 11. At approximately 7:30 a.m., a USCG cutter interdicted the vessel near Huntington Beach and took it to a USCG station in Long Beach.
During the inspection, 333 pounds of what was presumed to be methamphetamine was discovered in various locations throughout the vessel by a USBP canine team. A field test kit confirmed the substance was methamphetamine.
The two male Mexican nationals on board were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles (LA) Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) Maritime agents for further investigation.
The vessel and methamphetamine were turned over to HSI LA BEST for further processing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California has accepted the case for federal prosecution.
The meth has an estimated street value of $915,750.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a member of the Regional Coordinating
Mechanism (ReCoM). Other members include U.S. Coast Guard, CBP Air and Marine Operations, CBP Office of Field Operations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and state and local law-enforcement agencies operating in Southern California.
The ReCoM utilizes intelligence, planning, and joint operations to target the threat of transnational crime along the coastal border.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.