US CBP AMO and Partners Seize 26 Tons of Cocaine Since October 2020
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) crews conducted air and maritime enforcement operations with agency partners resulting in seizure of a total of 51,619 pounds of cocaine since the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2021. Cocaine seizures since October occurred across AMO regions and spanned multiple interagency operations, denying transnational criminal organization proceeds from illicit narcotics valued at an estimated $695 million dollars.
On October 14, a Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft crew, on temporary duty to the Caribbean, patrolled the area and located a suspect vessel. The aircrew coordinated with agency partners who interdicted the vessel and seized half a ton of cocaine
On November 8, AMO personnel conducted a multi-national, interagency operation to locate a suspicious aircraft in Guatemala. When host Nation authorities arrived, they found a crashed aircraft, arrested two individuals, and seized more than a ton of cocaine. On the same day, a National Air Security Operations Center P-3 Orion Airborne Early Warning (AEW) crew located a go-fast vessel in the Caribbean. The crew vectored a helicopter from a partner nation to the vessel. Agency partners seized nearly 800 pounds of cocaine.
Two days later, AMO personnel partnered in a multi-national operation to locate a suspicious aircraft in Guatemala. Host nation authorities discovered a burning aircraft and seized nearly 2 tons of cocaine. In another cocaine seizure event on November 11, a Caribbean Air and Marine Branch DHC-8 crew detected a suspect vessel near Puerto Rico. The marine crew partnered with federal and local law enforcement teams who interdicted the vessel, arrested five men who had jettisoned bales overboard and attempted to flee, and seized 921 pounds of cocaine.