JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— A CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker (LRT) crew partnered with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) District 11 and U.S. Navy crews to disrupt a smuggling attempt of over one ton of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific last week.
A National Air Security Operations Center P-3 LRT crew conducted aerial surveillance of a vessel suspected to be engaged in smuggling activity. A USCG District 11 aircraft identified the suspect vessel as a two engine, go-fast type vessel with fuel barrels and multiple persons on board.
The AMO aircrew and USGC aircrew continued to track the go-fast and packages that had been jettisoned, until law enforcement surface assets arrived.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords arrived on scene with embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment personnel and were able to recover approximately 2,415 pounds of cocaine from a bale field in the water.
The President and Secretary of Defense announced the Enhanced Counter Narcotics mission on 1 April 2020, and since then the Department of State, Department of Defense and other federal agencies have strengthened our methods and improved operations in order to obstruct the drug shipments from transnational criminal organizations.
The National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville forms half of the P-3 operations wing, along with its partner center in Corpus Christi, Texas. These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North and South America in defense of the borders of the United States and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband.
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 U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In FY 2019, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of 284,825 pounds of cocaine; 101,874 pounds of marijuana; 51,058 pounds of methamphetamine; 935 weapons and $34.1 million. AMO enforcement actions also facilitated 1,575 arrests and 52,036 apprehensions of illegal aliens.