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Dumbest Crooks Caught At The Border

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Aircraft, Interagency Coordination Thwart Semi-Submersible

Jacksonville, Fla. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine’s surveillance aircraft were instrumental yesterday in interdicting a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Eastern Pacific.

The CBP P-3 crew identified the semi-submersible off the coast of Colombia, and directed a U.S. Navy ship, helicopter and U.S. Coast Guard boarding team to intercept the vessel. Upon seeing that they were being pursued, the four-person crew of the semi-submersible boarded an inflatable raft and scuttled their vessel.

Based on the size of the semi-submersible, this interdiction is estimated at 5,000 metric tons of cocaine. Including this interdiction, CBP’s P-3 aircraft have contributed to the disruption of over 100,000 pounds of cocaine during the last year, with an estimated street value of more than $1 billion.

“Right now, drug trafficking organizations are using semi-submersibles to transport drugs to the U.S. for profit,” Stanton added, “but the ability of criminals to move payloads of this size also makes us more vulnerable to the movement of weapons of mass destruction and other threats of terrorism. We must continue to have a collaborative approach to supporting our partners in interdicting these dangerous vessels before they reach our borders.”

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