Several law enforcement agencies, along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Joint Task Force, seized more than $44 million worth of narcotics in the Eastern Pacific Ocean last month.
Approximately 1,900 pounds of cocaine were seized from a panga-style vessel on Oct. 25, according to DHS. Three suspects--one Ecuadorian national and two Colombian nationals--were also taken into custody by Joint Task-Force West agents.
According to DHS, agents assigned to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Joint Task Force-West uncovered information of narcotics being smuggled out of South America in late August.
Two weeks later, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert's helicopter spotted a panga-style vessel matching the description of the vessel in the information provided by HSI and Joint Task-Force West.
Three suspects were arrested after a marksman on the Alert disabled the engine on the panga using a long-arm weapon.
The suspects are in custody, pending prosecution for narcotics smuggling, according to DHS.