SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) intercepted and seized Tuesday 1,776 pounds (802 kilos) of cocaine within 28 bales found inside a go-fast vessel intercepted near the southeastern coast of the island. The estimated street value of the narcotics is $20 million.
“Our Air and Marine Operations agents patrol the coasts of the Caribbean determined to fulfill their duty of interdicting smuggling attempts into our country,” indicated Johnny Morales, Director of Air and Marine Operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “This daunting task does bear results by taking illicit narcotics from our streets.”
On the early morning hours of April 9, an AMO Marine Patrol Aircraft detected a twin-engine center console vessel, approximately 27 feet in length, traveling north towards Puerto Rico without navigations lights.
While maintaining surveillance of the vessel the AMO aircraft assisted a CBP Marine Interceptor unit to reach the location with blue lights/siren while a National Guard helicopter provided area illumination. The vessel failed to heave.
After a short pursuit, the CBP Interceptor deployed two warning shots and then disabling shots to the vessel’s engines. CBP Agents boarded the suspect vessel and arrested two occupants inside, finding 28 bales of narcotics.
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. 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. With 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.