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Border Patrol Intercepts Almost $1 Billion in Cocaine on Boats

Posted on

May 30, 2013

(CNN)- Authorities intercepted two speedboats — sinking one — and recovered about  13,000 pounds of cocaine worth almost $1 billion.

Indeed, that’s billion with a B.

“These two disruptions are an example of the international cooperative law  enforcement effort to disrupt transnational criminal activity and deny their  profiting from such activity,” Doug Garner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s  director of national air security operations in Jacksonville, Florida, said in a  news release.

The Memorial Day weekend drug bust, which was announced Wednesday, resulted  from two separate interdiction efforts, the first unfolding Friday north of the  Galapagos Islands, west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.

A Customs and Border Protection crew spotted a 30-foot speedboat carrying  almost 7,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $500 million. After realizing  that they’d been spotted, three people on the boat started chucking packages of  cocaine into the water. They also “began washing the boat to eliminate traces of  cocaine,” the release said.

A law enforcement helicopter, responding to a call from the Customs and  Border Protection crew, tracked down the boat and fired shots to disable it.  Three suspects were arrested as the boat sunk into the ocean, according to the  release.

The next evening, a Customs and Border Protection crew in the Western  Caribbean saw a three-engine speedboat moving rapidly near the  Panamanian-Colombian border. The boat’s driver tried to evade police by moving  closer to the Panamanian coastline and maneuvering “in and out of shoals and  other obstructions,” according to the agency.

The crew told Panamanian police to intercept the boat, which was carrying  more than 1,000 bundles of cocaine weighing more than 6,000 pounds. Authorities  estimate their value at more than $445 million.

The Customs and Border Protection crews, called P-3s, patrol a 42  million-square-mile swath of the Western Caribbean and Eastern Pacific in search  of drugs destined for U.S. shores. In fiscal 2012, P-3 crews seized almost 59  tons of cocaine valued at $8.8 billion.




About Doc

Spreading the word about the dangers of methamphetamine.

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