WASHINGTON — CBP AMO (U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations) along with their federal and international partners, seized nearly 82,123 pounds of cocaine and 21,396 pounds of marijuana in international waters during the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2023, denying criminal organizations an estimated $1.1 billion.
Notably, a National Air Security Operations Center Jacksonville P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew conducted a maritime patrol in the Central Caribbean March 12, and detected a suspect go-fast vessel. The P-3 aircrew transmitted the suspect vessel’s location to Joint Interagency Task Force South and its international partners and continued tracking the vessel while the international maritime team launched multiple small boat teams and a helicopter crew. The international vessel crews stopped the suspect vessel, apprehending two people and seizing 2,064 pounds of cocaine.
On March 21, an AMO P-3 Long Range Tracker crew on maritime patrol in the Caribbean detected a suspect go-fast vessel with three people on board and multiple bales. The suspect vessel began to sink, and the aircrew observed people clinging to the partially submerged hull. The aircrew coordinated with U.S. Coast Guard and international maritime partners to assist with the search and rescue operation, rescuing and detaining three vessel crewmembers and pulling 28 bales containing 2,537 pounds of marijuana from the water.
AMO has P-3 NASO Centers located in Jacksonville, Fla and Corpus Christi, Texas. P-3 aircrews operate throughout North, Central and South America in defense of United States borders to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband and are vital in partnership with U.S. Southern Command detection and monitoring operations. This partnership bolsters support to U.S. and international law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence to help identify, track, and disrupt suspected illicit trafficking attempts.
In fiscal year 2022, AMO enforcement actions resulted in 967 arrests and 134,981 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 250,616 pounds of cocaine, 1,475 pounds of fentanyl, 25,625 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,342 weapons, and $21.7 million.
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