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CBP-AMO P-3 Orion crew and SOUTHCOM seized 4.7 tons of cocaine

CBP-AMO P-3 Orion crew and SOUTHCOM seized 4.7 tons of cocaine
CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) uses P-3 Airborne Early Warning and Long Range Tracker aircraft to conduct long range aerial patrols and surveillance missions along the U.S. borders and in drug transit zones in Central and South America.

WASHINGTON D.C. — CBP-AMO (Air and Marine Operations) National Air Security Operations Center P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crews and United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) partners conducted counter-narcotics operations and seized 4.7 tons (9,475 pounds) of cocaine in transit zones between October 1 and November 30, 2021.

The coordinated effort between AMO, the federal government, and international partners denied transnational criminal organizations an estimated $179.2 million.

Seizures occurred in a single night. On October 24, a CBP-AMO P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew detected a suspect go-fast vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and guided United States Coast Guard teams to the location. The AMO aircrew received reports of a second suspect go-fast vessel and guided Colombian Navy and National Aeronaval Service of Panama (SENAN) teams for interdiction. Both events resulted in the detention of six people and seizure of 2.8 tons of cocaine.

National Air Security Operations Center P-3 capabilities continue to prove essential in support of United States Southern Command operations, contributing to an increased law enforcement presence in narcotics transit zones. This partnership bolsters support to U.S. and international law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence to help expand target packages.

AMO has two P-3 Orion National Air Security Operations Centers located in Jacksonville, FL and Corpus Christi, TX. These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North, Central 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 Fiscal Year 2021, 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 $73.3 million.

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