DHS Partners’ Team-Up Tracks Boat for Hefty Seizure – 333 LBS. of Meth
Photo: confiscated meth
SAN DIEGO – A Maritime smuggling attempt was thwarted when U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Office of Field Operations (OFO), U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) worked jointly, for days, to track and detain a vessel that departed from Mexico holding 333 pounds of methamphetamine destined for the United States.
AMO agents detected a vessel at sea at 11 PM on Saturday 01/09/2021 – suspected of maritime smuggling. AMO tracked the vessel until it neared Huntington Beach at approximately 4 AM on Monday Jan. 11 – where USCG assets, USBP agents and OFO officers reported tracking.
Three and-a-half hours later, it was interdicted by a USCG cutter near Huntington Beach. The vessel was taken for inspection to a USCG station in Long Beach.
The USB Canine Team discovered 333 pounds of what was presumed to be methamphetamine in various locations throughout the vessel. A field test kit confirmed that the substance was indeed methamphetamine.
Two male Mexican nationals were arrested on board, and turned over for further investigation to awaiting Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles (LA) Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) Maritime agents. HSI LA BEST received the vessel and the meth – with an estimated street value of $915,750 – for further processing.
MISSION STATEMENT: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a member of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM). Other members include U.S. Coast Guard, CBP Air and Marine Operations, CBP Office of Field Operations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and state and local law-enforcement agencies operating in Southern California. The ReCoM utilizes intelligence, planning, and joint operations to target the threat of transnational crime along the coastal border.
As a result, Federal prosecution of the case will be conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.