On Aug. 29, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents aboard a P-3 Airborne Early Warning aircraft assisted the Coast Guard in the disruption of over 3,200 pounds of cocaine worth about $246 million.
The P-3 and its crew are based at OAM’s National Air Security Operations Center-Corpus Christi, Texas.
While on patrol as part of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South, the OAM crew aboard the P-3 aircraft detected a fishing vessel off the coast of Panama. After monitoring the vessel’s activities, the crew directed a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to intercept the 165′ vessel.
The Coast Guard intercepted the vessel and discovered a cache of cocaine bundles. The Coast Guard detained the suspects and seized the cocaine.
“This latest seizure highlights our joint efforts to disrupt transnational criminal activity before it reaches the U.S. border and further illustrates the results multi-agencies and partner nations achieve as part of JIATF-South,” said Thomas Salter, NASOC Director, Corpus Christi, Texas.
JIATF-S, a component of U.S. Southern Command, conducts interagency and international operations and facilitates the interdiction of illicit trafficking in support of national and partner nation security.
According to U.S. Southern Command, in 2013, JIATF-S international efforts resulted in the seizure of 131 metric tons of cocaine with a Miami wholesale value of $2.6B.