CBP AMO Seizes Cocaine Filled Vessel In Caribbean Of Worth Over $114 Million
A CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) located and tracked a cocaine-filled go-fast style vessel in the Western Caribbean on July 26 while CBP AMO P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew assigned to the National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville, was conducting maritime patrols.
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The initial radar contact was maintained of the target of interest by the AMO P-3 crew, a 45-foot long, blue, open hull go-fast with four outboard engines. Five individuals could be seen onboard removing a tarp that covered a portion of the vessel. The crew provided the updated location of the vessel to partner agencies.
For assistance, two Panamanian Naval aircraft and a Panamanian Interceptor, the boat responded and arrived on the scene.
The individuals onboard the go-fast began dumping the suspected contraband into the sea after spotting the aircraft and vessel. After dumping over 80 bales of contraband the go-fast departed the area, which was later identified as cocaine.
The Panamanian Navy interdicted the go-fast and took five Colombians into custody. Additionally, 8,791 pounds of cocaine was recovered from the scene, which worth an estimated wholesale value of $114.6 million.
The National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville forms half of the P-3 operations wing, along with its partner center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Throughout North and South America these P-3 aircraft operate for the defense of the borders of the United States and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband. The center is an active partner with FEMA, the U.S. Department of Energy and NORAD in times of national crisis such as Hurricane Harvey or post 9/11.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization which is 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 taskings.
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AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement 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 enforcement actions in the Fiscal Year 2018 which resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of 283,503 pounds of cocaine; 301,553 pounds of marijuana; 180,444 pounds of methamphetamine; 872 weapons and $34.2 million. AMO enforcement actions also facilitated 2,373 arrests and 47,744 apprehensions of illegal aliens.