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VIDEO: US Customs air crew intercepts Colombian speedboat laden with 3,670 lbs of cocaine

This low-profile “go-fast vessel” loaded with cocaine as it was intercepted by U.S. Customs Air and Marine Operations crew assigned to the National Air Security Center-Jacksonville. [U.S. Customs and Border Protection/TNS)

A speedboat loaded with 3,670 pounds of cocaine was intercepted by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew assigned to Jacksonville’s National Air Security Operations Center.

The speedboat was located and tracked in mid-December in the eastern Pacific Ocean by the Air and Marine Operations air crew, then the U.S. Coast Guard rendezvoused with it Dec. 17 and arrested three Colombian nationals, U.S. Customs said. The cocaine on board was valued at an estimated $48 million, officials said.

The National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville forms half of the P-3 operations wing, along with its partner center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Its P-3 aircraft operate throughout North and South America to protect U.S. borders and prevent attempts to smuggle people or contraband.

U.S. Customs’ Air and Marine Operations has about 1,800 agents and support personnel working with 240 aircraft and 300 ships throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. In fiscal year 2018, its enforcement actions resulted in the seizure or disruption of 283,503 pounds of cocaine, 301,553 pounds of marijuana and aided in the arrest of 2,373 people and 47,744 apprehensions of illegal aliens, the agency said.


© 2020 The Florida Times-Union