04/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/07/2021 15:52
WASHINGTON - Between February 27 and March 22, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) P-3 aircrews of the National Air Security Operations Centers (NASOC) partnered with federal and international authorities to disrupt four smuggling attempts in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and seized a combined four tons of cocaine, denying narcotics traffickers approximately $152 million in illicit proceeds.
The following events occurred in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of U.S. Southern Command's (SOUTHCOM) Counter Narcotics Operations:
NASOC P-3 crew capabilities to detect and monitor smuggling activity over vast oceanic waters continue to prove essential to law enforcement in support of SOUTHCOM Counter Narcotics Operations. On April 1, 2020, SOUTHCOM began what was then known as Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations in the Western Hemisphere to increase the disruption of drugs. This counter Transnational Criminal Organizations/counter narcotics operational approach, which has become enduring, supports our objectives to degrade the capabilities of Transnational Criminal Organizations and save lives. With our increased presence, we have bolstered support to U.S. and partner nation law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence to help expand target packages. Since then, our key partners have been involved in over 60% of drug disruptions since April 2020 (up from 50% in 2019). By strengthening partnerships, we counter threats together.
AMO has two P-3 NASOCs located in Jacksonville, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North, Central and South America in defense of the borders of the United States and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband.
AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, AMO serves as the nation's experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2020, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the seizure or disruption of 194,220 pounds of cocaine, 278,492 pounds of marijuana, 15,985 pounds of methamphetamine, 952 weapons and $51.5 million; 1,066 arrests; and 47,872 apprehensions of individuals.