A U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel engaged in smuggling more than 3,800 pounds of cocaine, federal officials said Sunday.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), on November 13, CBP and Marine Operations (AMO) arrested the crew during operations in international waters, and all three suspects will face charges in the U.S.
“The drug cartels are relentless and extremely innovative,” National Air Security Operations Center – Corpus Christi Director Allen Durham said.
“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.”
The multi-day operation from surveillance to interception, according to CBP, involved several interagency partners including the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy.
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, according to CBP.