US Customs Seizes 1000 Pounds of Cocaine off Costa Rica Coast

US Customs Seizes 1000 Pounds of Cocaine off Costa Rica Coast.The arrest came from one of two separate drug-smuggling attempts that were halted off the coast of the Central American country. The seizure is estimated at about $75 million in illegal drugs, according to customs officials.

The Jacksonville-based crew was on board a P-3 about 190 miles northwest of Isla de Coco when they saw the twin-engine speedboat. U.S. Navy and Coast Guard aircraft maintained surveillance until a ship could intercept the smugglers and seize the contraband.

Two days earlier, another P-3 crew was on a counter-drug patrol about 100 miles east of Costa Rica when they saw a suspicious ship. As they tracked the ship, the crew saw people on board tossing 35 bales of contraband into the water, customs officials said. Costa Rican law enforcement intercepted the vessel, recovered 1,313 pounds of marijuana and detained five crew members.

The air and ocean patrols are part of an international counter-trafficking initiative called Operation Martillo, patrolling the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific year-round.

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