WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) National Air Security Operations Center (NASOC) P-3 crews partnered with federal authorities to disrupt a narcotics smuggling attempt in the Eastern Pacific Ocean leading to the seizure of 1.7 tons of cocaine in February, denying transnational criminal organizations more than $58 million in illicit proceeds.
On February 14, in a Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) led operation, a NASOC P-3 Long Range Tracker crew detected a suspicious vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The aircrew conducted a hand-off to a partner aircraft that vectored U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Munro (WMSL-755) for interdiction. A USCG team detained four people and seized 1.7 tons of cocaine.
This interdiction was conducted under Campaign Martillo, a counter-narcotics operation to disrupt transnational criminal organizations that threaten global security and prosperity. Campaign Martillo is supported by SOUTHCOM and led by JIATF-S.
AMO has two P-3 NASOCs, located in Jacksonville, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North, Central and South America in defense of the borders of the United States and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband.
AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. 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 2020, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the seizure or disruption of 194,220 pounds of cocaine, 278,492 pounds of marijuana, 15,985 pounds of methamphetamine, 952 weapons and $51.5 million; 1,066 arrests; and 47,872 apprehensions of illegal aliens.
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