JACKSONVILLE (CBS4) – A go-fast boat carrying $242 million dollars worth of cocaine was heading was being intercepted in the open waters off Panama, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Tuesday.
The boat, carrying four passengers, fuel barrels and more than 3,000 pounds of pure cocaine was spotted by the CBP’s Office of Air and Marine crew over the Gulf of Uraba as part of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATFS) Operation Martillo.
Officials alerted Panamanian authorities which dispatched several vessels to the area. One the boat was stopped, Panamanian law enforcement took custody of the speedboat, and the men, all Colombian nationals.
“Our air crew agents are protecting our nation’s borders by actively patrolling the open waters of the Western Caribbean and Eastern Pacific as part of Operation Martillo,” said Douglas Garner, Director of National Air Security Operations Center in Florida. “This year, P-3 operations in Corpus Christi, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida assisted in either the seizure or disruption of more than 54,000 pounds of cocaine, which is more than $4 billion denied to transnational criminal organizations.”