US, allied forces capture 1.5 tons of cocaine in Eastern Pacific operation

Fri, 03/08/2024: Miam: US Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations, in collaboration with Eastern Pacific partners, successfully intercepted 1.5 tons of cocaine on March 2, thwarting transnational criminal organizations from gaining approximately $40.5 million.

During a coordinated operation with the Joint Interagency Task Force-South and international allies, a Maritime Patrol Aircraft from the Houston Air and Marine Branch spotted a suspicious vessel in a key drug trafficking region. The aircrew kept vigilant surveillance and facilitated communication with naval units, leading to the capture of the vessel by an international partner force. This operation resulted in the arrest of five individuals and the confiscation of around 3,081 pounds of cocaine.

Todd C. Rowell, Director of Air and Marine Operations at the Houston Branch, emphasized the importance of international partnerships in halting the flow of illegal narcotics before they can reach the US. He highlighted the commitment of their aircrews to the collective effort to curb maritime drug smuggling.

The operation utilized the Bombardier DHC-8, a versatile, medium-range patrol aircraft adept at executing missions to detect and intercept maritime drug trafficking.

In the fiscal year 2023, the efforts of the Air and Marine Operations led to 1,004 arrests and 89,909 apprehensions of unauthorized individuals, along with the seizure or disruption of over 256,000 pounds of cocaine, 2,049 pounds of fentanyl, 4,050 pounds of methamphetamine, 2,200 weapons, and $15.3 million in illicit proceeds.–Web Desk