CBP Aircrews Seized $140M in Cocaine During Shutdown

The Associated Press
AP File Photo

P-3 Orion aircrews assigned to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) unit in Corpus Christi, Texas, seized more than $140 million in cocaine during the partial government shutdown that ended in January. A total of 49 missions flown during the 35 days resulted in the stopping of nearly 11,000 pounds of cocaine from reaching U.S. shores.

“Our folks are the best at what they do, 24/7, 365 days a year. They will always be fully dedicated to our mission, regardless of circumstances,” AMO Director Bob Blanchard said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart News.

The National Air Security Operations Center in Corpus Christi operates P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft that conduct long-range patrols off the Pacific Coast and in the Caribbean Sea. The operations fall under the jurisdiction of CBP’s Air and Marine Operations division.

During the partial government shutdown, the aircrews conducted 49 missions resulting in the seizure of nearly 11,000 pounds of cocaine, CBP officials reported. The aircrews racked up more than 270 hours of flight time. Officials estimated the wholesale value of the cocaine at $140,674,962.

In addition to stopping these dangerous drugs from reaching the U.S., One aircrew carried out an airdrop of medical supplies to a fishing vessel. The airdrop delivered medical supplies for a sick crewmember of the boat located 760 miles from shore.

“Despite a historic partial government shutdown stretching 35 days, agents from the National Air Security Operations Center remained laser-focused on doing what they do best—catching cocaine smugglers,” CBP officials stated.

During Fiscal Year 2018, AMO aircrews assigned to the National Air Security Operations Centers in Corpus Christi and Jacksonville, Florida, seized or disrupted the shipments of more than 260,000 pounds of cocaine, the report stated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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