Interdictions Showcase Value of Regional Cooperation in Fight against Drugs

By Dialogo
January 30, 2015



In recent days, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and regional partners seized more than $74 million in illegal drugs in separate counter smuggling operations in the waters off Costa Rica.

On January 18, a CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) P-3 crew on patrol reported a suspicious go-fast vessel dumping bales of marijuana some 90 nautical miles east of Costa Rica. Costa Rican law enforcement proceeded to intercept the vessel, recovering 1,313 pounds of marijuana and arresting five smugglers aboard the go fast.

On January 20, an OAM P-3 crew on patrol again reported a suspicious speedboat approximately 190 miles northwest of Isla de Coco, Costa Rica. A British vessel intercepted the smugglers with the aid of the continuous surveillance of the speedboat provided by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard air assets. The operation resulted in the arrest of three suspects and the recovery of more than 954 pounds of cocaine.

Doug Garner, Director of the National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, stated “Every day we’re committed to detecting, interdicting and preventing acts of terrorism and the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband toward the United States.” Garner added “The strong relationships with our international partners continue to bring results.”

These operations exemplify the work of the U.S. interagency and international counter illicit trafficking initiative called Operation Martillo, which fosters coordinated patrol and interdiction efforts by U.S. and partner nations’ military and law enforcement agencies in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific. Operation Martillo brings together diverse resources from multiple international partner nations including Costa Rica to fight transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.


In recent days, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and regional partners seized more than $74 million in illegal drugs in separate counter smuggling operations in the waters off Costa Rica.

On January 18, a CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) P-3 crew on patrol reported a suspicious go-fast vessel dumping bales of marijuana some 90 nautical miles east of Costa Rica. Costa Rican law enforcement proceeded to intercept the vessel, recovering 1,313 pounds of marijuana and arresting five smugglers aboard the go fast.

On January 20, an OAM P-3 crew on patrol again reported a suspicious speedboat approximately 190 miles northwest of Isla de Coco, Costa Rica. A British vessel intercepted the smugglers with the aid of the continuous surveillance of the speedboat provided by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard air assets. The operation resulted in the arrest of three suspects and the recovery of more than 954 pounds of cocaine.

Doug Garner, Director of the National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, stated “Every day we’re committed to detecting, interdicting and preventing acts of terrorism and the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband toward the United States.” Garner added “The strong relationships with our international partners continue to bring results.”

These operations exemplify the work of the U.S. interagency and international counter illicit trafficking initiative called Operation Martillo, which fosters coordinated patrol and interdiction efforts by U.S. and partner nations’ military and law enforcement agencies in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific. Operation Martillo brings together diverse resources from multiple international partner nations including Costa Rica to fight transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.
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