US CBP Air and Marine Operations and partners seize over 2 tons of cocaine near the British Virgin Islands

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations worked with international partners to seize 4,294 pounds (1,948 kilograms) of cocaine on March 6 off the coast of the British Virgin Islands, denying transnational criminal organizations approximately $48.7 million.

A National Air Security Operations aircrew detected suspicious vessel activity near the British Virgin Islands and maintained continuous observation of a vessel of interest. Air and Marine teams facilitated communication with responding crews: a Caribbean Air and Marine Branch UH-60 aircrew, a St. Thomas Marine Unit 41’ SAFE Boat crew, and an international maritime law enforcement team.

The vessel attempted to evade law enforcement, making erratic maneuvers, and eventually ran into a dock. Three people absconded. Law enforcement teams seized 62 bales of cocaine from the grounded vessel.

“This event demonstrates the level of cooperation and commitment with our regional foreign partners in combating transnational criminal organizations operating in the Caribbean.” stated Creighton A. Skeen, Director of Air and Marine Operations, Caribbean Air and Marine Operations Branch. “Our crews remain ready to respond to all smuggling throughout the Caribbean region.”