CBP: Crew pursued self-propelled semi-submersible vessel

↓ Advertisement ↓

From U.S. Customs and Border Protection: "A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) crew, in coordination with interagency partners, pursued a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel engaged in cocaine smuggling.

The AMO crew aboard a P-3 Long Range Tracker aircraft tracked the vessel, Nov. 12, during operations in international waters, and coordinated with Joint Interagency Task Force – South (JIATF South) to interdict. Self-propelled semi-submersible vessels are low profile vessels designed to navigate low in the water to avoid detection. 

The AMO crew maintained surveillance and coordinated an intercept with JIATF South. This multi-day operation involved several interagency partners including the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy.

On November 13, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted the vessel, arrested the crew, and recovered over 3,800 pounds of cocaine. All three suspects will face charges in the U.S.

↓ Advertisement ↓

AMO operates maritime patrol aircraft from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, to conduct long-range aerial patrols and surveillance missions along the U.S. borders and in drug transit zones in Central and South America. P-3 aircrews detect, monitor, and disrupt smuggling activities before they reach shore.

“The drug cartels are relentless and extremely innovative,” said National Air Security Operations Center – Corpus Christi Director Allen Durham. “Interdicting self-propelled semi-submersible vessels requires expertise and the right aircraft. Air and Marine Operations will continue to beat the cartels at their own game to protect our borders.”"