Photo: Large Cocaine Seizure at Sea
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), operating out of Jacksonville, Florida, detected two go-fast vessels carrying more than 4,840 pounds of cocaine with a combined value of more than $362 million.
On April 20, authorities operating in the Western Caribbean spotted two go-fast vessels 120 miles off the coast of Panama. The two 40-foot twin-engine vessels were spotted speeding north and appeared to be loaded with numerous packages when they were tracked.
Local law enforcement were called in to pursue the two vessels, who attempted to evade authorities. One vessel abandoned the contraband before arriving on shore, while the second go-fast was seized nearby. A U.S. Navy vessel operating in the area retrieved 89 bales of cocaine from the scene.
This seizure is in addition to the $2.8 billion detected by the CBP P-3s operating out of Jacksonville, Fla. and Corpus Christi, Texas since October 2011.
During fiscal year 2011, the CBP P-3 fleet continued its anti-smuggling success by seizing or disrupting more than 148,000 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $11.1 billion, totaling 20.6 pounds seized for every flight hour, valued at $1.5 million for every hour flown.