Tons of cocaine seized in Caribbean Sea

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says its Air and Marine Operations (AMO) has worked with its federal and international partners in seizing 5,893 pounds of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea, “denying transnational criminal organizations an estimated US$111.4 million in proceeds.”

CBP said a National Air Security Operations (NASO) Center P-3 Airborne Early Warning crew assumed monitoring of a suspect vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea and “guided international law enforcement partners to the location, where officers seized 4,993 pounds of cocaine.”

CBP also said that a P-3 Airborne Early Warning crew again detected a suspect vessel near Curacao and “notified a US Coast Guard team, which interdicted the vessel and seized 900 pounds of cocaine.”

AMO has P-3 NASO Centers located in Jacksonville, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas, CBP said.

It said P-3 aircraft operate throughout North, Central and South America in defense of the borders of the United States “to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband and are vital in partnership with US Southern Command detection and monitoring operations.

“This partnership bolsters support to US and international law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence to help identify, track and disrupt suspected illicit trafficking targets,” CBP said. “AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond.

“With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement,” it added.

In Fiscal Year 2021, CBP said AMO enforcement actions resulted in 1,119 arrests and 122,035 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 324,772 pounds of cocaine, 779,725 pounds of marijuana, 18,548 pounds of methamphetamine, 900 weapons, and US$73.3 million.(CMC)

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