A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrew interdicted a drug-smuggling boat loaded with more than 3,600 pounds of cocaine. Agents on board the aircraft tracked the boat for two days before moving Coast Guard vessels into the area to stop the boat.
An AMO P-3 Orion aircrew based out of the National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, Florida, observed a low-profile go-fast vessel in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The aircrew tracked the vessel for two day before calling U.S. Coast Guard boats to interdict the boat, according to information obtained from CBP officials.
Video shot from the Orion shows the vessel being tracked in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
.@CBPAMO intercepted a go-fast vessel in the Eastern Pacific loaded with cocaine. A P-3 Orion crew tracked the vessel. The interdiction by @USCG and AMO resulted in the arrest of 3 Colombian nationals and the seizure of 3,600lbs of cocaine. https://t.co/7pQ480ST7a pic.twitter.com/g8QyFO9pkx
— CBP (@CBP) January 2, 2020
The aircrew vectored Coast Guard boat crews to the boat on December 13, officials stated. When Coast Guard crews boarded the vessel they arrested three Colombian nationals and seized 3,670 pounds of cocaine. Officials estimate the value of the seized drugs at $48 million.
“AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities,” CBP officials explained in a written statement. “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.”
The agency employs 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 serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement, officials stated.