U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations agents interdicted a drug smuggling attempt and seized 450 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Culebra, Puerto Rico.
A Puerto Rico National Guard helicopter aircrew teamed up with Air and Marine Operations (AMO) marine units after detecting a 25-30 foot “yolo” vessel near Culebrita Island on January 7, according to information obtained from CBP officials.
Three people were visible on the boat as AMO agents approached the suspected drug smuggling vessel. As the agents approached, they detected seven bales in the water near the craft. Agents stopped the yolo vessel and provided emergency medical assistance to one of the boat’s occupants. The person sustained an injury during the interdiction, officials stated.
The agents recovered the bales and determined they were packed with 450 pounds of cocaine. Officials estimate the value of the illicit contraband to be worth approximately $5.5 million.
“Our vigilance and sustained efforts continue to produce significant results,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “We leverage our advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities to detect and interdict illegal incursions throughout our coastal borders.”
In late December, a CBP AMO aircrew led the interdiction of another vessel in the Caribbean loaded with two tons of cocaine, Breitbart Texas reported. The aircrew, based out of the National Air Security Operations Center (NASOC-J) in Jacksonville, Florida, coordinated with the U.S. Navy’s USS Comstock to interdict the GFV. A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment embedded with the Navy boarded the boat after bringing it to a stop.
During FY2020, the actions of AMO crews resulted in the seizure or disruption of more than 194,000 pounds of cocaine, 278,000 pounds of marijuana, 15,985 pounds of methamphetamine, 952 weapons, and more than $51 million in cash. They also arrested more than 1,000 suspected smugglers and nearly 48,000 illegal aliens, the report continues.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.