Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel recently located and tracked a cocaine-filled go-fast style vessel in the Western Caribbean, resulting in a 8,791 pound, $114.6 million seizure.
Officials said a CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew assigned to the National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville, was conducting maritime patrols and encountered the vessel.
After recognizing they were spotted by authorities, officials said the individuals onboard the
craft began dumping the suspected contraband into the water, but the Panamanian Navy subsequently interdicted the vessel and took five Colombians into custody.
The National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville represents half of the P-3 operations wing, with its partner center being housed in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The aircraft operate throughout North and South America in defense of domestic borders while working to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband, officials said, adding the center is an active partner with FEMA, the Department of Energy and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in times of national crisis.
Statistics revealed during fiscal year 2018 AMO enforcement activities yielded approximate seizure or disruption of 283,503 pounds of cocaine; 301,553 pounds of marijuana; 180,444 pounds of methamphetamine; 872 weapons and $34.2 million. There were also 2,373 arrests and 47,744 apprehensions of people who entered the country illegally.