- Associated Press - Sunday, July 9, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft based in Florida was part of the recent seizure of more than $60 million in cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

CBP officials said in a recent news release that the Jacksonville, Florida-based P-3 Long Tracker aircraft and crew conducted continuous overhead surveillance of suspect smuggler vessels in the region June 18 and 19. Three vessels were intercepted by the Coast Guard and three suspected smugglers arrested.

Officials say 24 bales of cocaine weighing more than 4,600 pounds (2,000 kilograms) were recovered from the vessels.

The latest interdictions are part of Operation Martillo, which targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along Central America. The operation includes the participation of 17 countries.

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