An aircrew from Corpus Christi, Texas, with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) unit discovered a semi-submersible “narco submarine” vessel carrying 12,800 pounds of cocaine.
The aircrew was patrolling in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in a P-3 Long Range Tracker aircraft when the discovery was made. Coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the AMO aircrew guided the interdiction that led to the arrest of four alleged drug smuggler, according to a statement from the CBP obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Following the interdiction, the semi-submersible vessel became unstable and sank, taking its $193,939,000 load of cocaine to the bottom of the ocean.
The vessel was described by officials as a self-propelled semi-submersible.
The interdiction and arrest occurred on March 2, official said in Thursday’s press release.
“This type of cooperation and teamwork produces these kinds of results where suspects are arrested and narcotics prevented from reaching U.S. shores,” said Director John Wassong at the National Air Security Operations Center – Corpus Christi. “Our crews will continue to take every opportunity to disrupt this type of transnational criminal activity.”
The operation took place in association with Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South. JAITF is a joint Department of Defense/CBP operation charged with detection and monitoring operations aimed at interdicting illicit trafficking and other narcotics and terrorist threats. The task force serves under the
During FY 2015, the AMO aircrews assisted in 198 seizures, disruptions, or interdictions that led to the confiscation of 213,000 pounds of cocaine.
The CBP carries out these types of missions at the National Air Security Operations Center in Corpus Christi. Interdiction patrol missions are dispatched to cover more than 42 million square miles in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The goal is to deny transnational criminal organizations the ability to exploit these transshipment routes for the movement of narcotics, precursor chemicals, bulk cash, and weapons along Central American shipping routes.