DHS partners seize 333 pounds of meth in maritime smuggling attempt

SAN DIEGO — US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Office of Field Operations (OFO), US Border Patrol (USBP), and the US Coast Guard (USCG) worked jointly to track and detain a vessel that departed from Mexico that held 333 pounds of methamphetamine destined for the United States, according to a press release.

The incident began Saturday, January 9, at approximately 11 p.m., when AMO agents detected a vessel at sea suspected of maritime smuggling. AMO agents tracked the vessel until USCG assets, USBP agents and OFO officers tracked the vessel near Huntington Beach at approximately 4 a.m., January 11.  At approximately 7:30 a.m., a USCG cutter interdicted the vessel near Huntington Beach and took it to a USCG station in Long Beach.

During the inspection, 333 pounds of what was presumed to be methamphetamine was discovered in various locations throughout the vessel by a USBP canine team. A field test kit confirmed the substance was methamphetamine.

The two male Mexican nationals on board were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles (LA) Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) Maritime agents for further investigation.

The vessel and methamphetamine were turned over to HSI LA BEST for further processing.

The US Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California has accepted the case for federal prosecution.

The meth has an estimated street value of $915,750.

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