The US authorities have seized a vessel loaded down with over 2,880 pounds of cocaine and detained six suspected drug runners off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico.
On August 19, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrews with interagency partners detected the vessel and worked with the crew of a US Coast Guard cutter on routine patrol in the region to intercept it, seize the contraband and detain the suspected persons.
The cocaine has a combined street value of $37.5 million, according to CBP.
CBP Air and Marine Operations P-3 aircrews based at the National Air Security Operations Center – Jacksonville use sophisticated maritime surveillance equipment throughout the year to detect drug-smuggling ventures as part of international operations with Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South). JIATF-South targets illicit smuggling operations in coastal waters off the Central American isthmus.
“Air and Marine Operations works closely with our JIATF-South task force partners and provides critical capabilities toward the whole-of-government approach to address drug trafficking and other transnational threats. Air and Marine Operations advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities are a way to combat transnational threats and interdict nefarious actors and contraband before it reaches our local communities and causes harm,” Director of National Air Security Operations Center – Jacksonville Robert Blanchard, said.
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations is a federal law enforcement organization that interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching US borders, investigates criminal networks and provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national taskings.