$156 million in cocaine and weed seized at sea
The morning’s good narrative.
Air and Marine Operations (AMO) National Air Security Operations Center of the border patrol, P-3 Long Range Tracker and Airborne Early Warning crews partnered with Joint Interagency Task Force-South and federal authorities to stop transnational smuggling of almost six tons of narcotics between April 16 and April 24 in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, denying narcotics traffickers an estimated $156 million in illicit proceeds.
Over an eight-day period, AMO P-3 aircrews conducted detection and sustained tracking operations that led law enforcement partners to detain 15 individuals and seize a total of 7,805 pounds of cocaine and 3,588 pounds of marijuana in the Pacific Source and Transit Zone for illicit drugs.
- On April 16, a Long Range Tracker crew identified a suspect vessel while on patrol. A United States Coast Guard (USCG) team aboard The Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Saskatoon detained five crew members and seized more than two tons of cocaine.
- On April 17, a Long Range Tracker crew located a suspect vessel. A Colombian law enforcement team intercepted the vessel, detained three crew members, and seized 1.7 tons of marijuana and 40 pounds of cocaine.
- On April 20, a P-3 Airborne Early Warning crew detected a suspect vessel and maintained observation of the vessel’s activity. USCG Cutter Tahoma launched interceptor vessels to interdict the suspect vessel crew. The USGC team seized 2,403 pounds of cocaine and detained four crew members.
- On April 24, a P-3 Long Range Tracker crew worked with a USCG HC-130 aircrew to monitor a suspect vessel and guide partner nation aircraft and vessel teams for interdiction. The Panamanian boarding team detained three crew members and seized 1,323 pounds of cocaine and 200 pounds of marijuana.
National Air Security Operations Center P-3 capabilities continue to prove essential to United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Counter Narcotics Operations, coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S), contributing to an increased law enforcement presence in narcotics transit zones. This partnership bolsters the effectiveness of U.S. and international law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence to increase interdictions. Key SOUTHCOM partners have been involved in over 60 percent of drug disruptions since April 2020.
AMO has two P-3 National Air Security Operations Centers located in Jacksonville, FL and Corpus Christi, TX. 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.
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