Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) facilitated the seizure of over three tons of drugs last Friday.
Agents patrolling in a P-3 discovered a suspect panga-style vessel that was located in international waters off the coast of Central America. A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team aboard a U.S. Navy ship patrolling in the area boarded the abandoned “panga” and discovered 6,100 pounds of marijuana destined for the United States. The Coast Guard and Navy teams seized the narcotics and sank the vessel as a hazard to navigation.
“Typically most of the illicit traffic in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is smuggling cocaine, but marijuana is also a major source of income for drug trafficking organizations,” said Director of Air and Marine Operations Bob Blanchard. “The important thing is that our agents are there to stop these harmful drugs from getting to our streets.”
The National Air Security Operations Center—Corpus Christi is a division of Air and Marine Operations and operates the Lockheed P-3 Orion conducting counter-drug patrol missions over the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Together with the National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 crews seized or disrupted 261,939 pounds of cocaine in 2018.
The mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations is to serve and protect the American people. Air and Marine Operations applies advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities and employs its unique skill sets to preserve America’s security interests.
With 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, Air and Marine Operations uses its sophisticated fleets to detect, sort, intercept, track and apprehend criminals in diverse environments at and beyond U.S. borders.