Coast Guard seizes 444 pounds of marijuana

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard seized 444 pounds of marijuana on Lake Amistad Friday, April 17, 2009.

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas and Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi were conducting joint counter-drug operations with the Customs and Border Patrol Lake Amistad Task Force when they received a call reporting a CBP water unit was in pursuit of suspected drug smugglers. The suspected smugglers were attempting to use a 19-foot bass boat in an effort to make a drop-off on land in the vicinity of Highway 277 North.

After depositing over 200 pounds of marijuana into an awaiting truck on dry land, the alleged smugglers attempted to flee via boat but were apprehended by Coast Guard crewmembers. Following a search of the boat, approximately 150 pounds of marijuana was discovered. The truck containing the remaining marijuana was seized by local police officials.

The two suspects who attempted to escape on board the 19-foot bass boat, both male Mexican nationals, were arrested by CBP and taken to a detention center in Del Rio.

“Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi units consisting of surface forces from Port Aransas, Sector’s enforcement officers, Coast Guard Air Auxiliary aircraft and Customs Border Patrol agents from Comstock Station in Del Rio, Texas, seized over 440 pounds of marijuana on Lake Amistad this past weekend. As a result of this five-day operation, Department of Homeland Security joint agencies were able to keep over $352,000 of marijuana off our streets. Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi has worked joint operations with CBP-BP in Del Rio in the past. This is a perfect example of how different agencies under the DHS umbrella can bring their capabilities, policies and authorities together with a common goal in mind,” said Cmdr. Mark Morin, Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi response chief.

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