June 2, 2013 - A U.S. Customs and Border
Protection’s Office of Air and Marine P-3 air
surveillance crew, operating out of National Air
Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, Fla.
Memorial Day weekend interrupted smugglers
moving nearly 7,000 pounds of cocaine with a
value in excess of $500 million.
The first disruption came when a CBP P-3 crew
operating in the Eastern Pacific detected a
30-foot speedboat north of the Galapagos
Islands, May 24. When the crew aboard the speed
boat realized it had been spotted, they began
dumping packages of cocaine over the side. After
discarding multiple packages the suspects
stopped and began washing the boat to eliminate
traces of cocaine.
The speed boat attempted to evade authorities,
but the P-3 crew vectored a law enforcement
helicopter to the boat’s location. After firing
shots to disabled the speed boat, law
enforcement arrested three suspects as their
speed boat sunk in the ocean. This joint effort
denied criminal organizations more than $82
million dollars from cocaine proceeds.