WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine assisted in the disruption of more than $30 million worth of contraband earlier this month.
On May 12, a Jacksonville-based P-3 aircrew on a Joint Interagency Task Force-South patrol mission detected a surface target of interest northeast of Nicaragua. P-3 crews obtained radar and visual contact of a 40-foot go-fast vessel with four persons on board.
Assets observed the presence of 16 barrels of fuel and 35 to 40 bales of contraband. P-3 aircrews alerted a nearby U.S. Coast Guard Cutter and Honduran law enforcement. USCG launched a rugged hulled inflatable boat, while Honduran law enforcement launched a helicopter and two maritime chase vessels to intercept.
CBP aircraft observed the vessel dump six bales before being intercepted by a Honduran law enforcement maritime vessel. Honduran law enforcement boarded the vessel 20 miles east of the Honduran/Nicaraguan border and recovered 36 bales containing 2,420 pounds of cocaine.
Four suspects were taken into custody by local authorities.
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.