(CBP photo)

AMO Detects Vessel with 2,513 Pounds of Cocaine in Puerto Rico; Three Arrested

A joint effort by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and U.S. Coast Guard resulted in the interception last Friday night of a vessel attempting to smuggle 2,513 pounds (1,140  kilos) of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $28.5 million. Authorities arrested three aliens from Dominican Republic found operating the vessel.

“We remain committed to work with other federal and local law enforcement partners to detect and deter smuggling attempts throughout the Caribbean,” stated Johnny Morales, Director of CBP’s Air and Marine Operations in the Caribbean.

On the evening of Mar.15, the crew of an Super King Air 350ER Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft from the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch, observed a 20ft twin-engine open hulled center console go fast vessel navigating towards the town of Loiza in the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico.

CBP contacted USCG Sector San Juan who diverted cutter Joseph Tezanos to intercept the vessel near the delta of the Loiza river.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) assumed the prosecution and investigation.

This interdiction is the result of ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard, the Caribbean Interagency Group (CBIG) and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).

The suspected smugglers are facing likely federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.

Read more at CBP

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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