A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) P-3 Orion Long Range Tracker crew assigned to the National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville, was conducting maritime patrols southeast of Panama, when they identified a 25-foot twin engine go-fast vessel and a debris field of suspected contraband on September 22.
Three visible occupants of the go-fast spotted the AMO aircraft and immediately fled the area.
The AMO crew remained within sight of the debris field until a Panamanian law enforcement vessel arrived to secure and recover the floating bales.
Panamanian authorities confirmed that the seized the packages contained cocaine, weighing a total of 1,695 pounds and valued at over $22 million.
The National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville forms half of the P-3 operations wing, along with its partner center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
These P-3 aircraft operate throughout North and South America in defense of the borders of the United States and to prevent attempts to smuggle persons or contraband.
The center is also an active partner with FEMA, the U.S. Department of Energy and NORAD in times of national crisis such as Hurricane Harvey or post 9/11.
(15 rescues today with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO)… all in one Black Hawk before refueling and going out again. Courtesyy of Dave Malkoff, who was aboard the helicopter for it all, and YouTube. Posted on Sep 4, 2017.)
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities.
AMO interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigates criminal networks and provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national taskings.
(See a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations P-3 Orion aircrew patrol the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to interdict contraband before it reaches the shores of the United States. Using sophisticated sensors and radar equipment, the aircrew covers thousands of miles of open ocean hunting for narcotics. Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and YouTube.)
With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2018, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of:
283,503 pounds of cocaine
301,553 pounds of marijuana
180,444 pounds of methamphetamine
872 weapons, and $34.2 million