U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air & Marine Operations (AMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted a “yola” type wooden vessel transporting 816 pounds (370kg) of cocaine on November 23. Three men from the Dominican Republic were arrested attempting to enter near Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $10 million.
On the evening of November 23, AMO launched a marine patrol aircraft from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch in order to conduct a Border Security Patrol. The crew detected a “yola” type vessel heading south eastbound at approximately 13 knots without navigational lights.
The crew maintained surveillance contacting Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos and a USCG Small Interceptor to intercept.
As the Coast Guard assets approached the vessel, two individuals jumped into the water in order to evade arrest. The Coast Guard stopped the vessel with one-man onboard finding 13 bales of narcotics and one firearm. The two individuals were retrieved from the water.
Coast Guard transported the contraband and the arrested individuals to Arecibo, Puerto Rico, where Caribbean Corridor Strike Force agents took custody for prosecution and investigation.