U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents, seized Tuesday 44 pounds (20 Kilos) of cocaine found inside a vessel at Villa Marina in Fajardo. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $500,000.
“Our Marine Interdiction Agents (MIAs) have been very effective interdicting the smuggling of narcotics and currency between Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “They are the best at what they do, and are vital to impeding the efforts of transnational criminal organizations.”
On Oct. 7, MIA’s in Fajardo received information on a suspect vessel navigating south of Culebra, PR and heading towards the general area of Villa Marina and the Puerto Chico Marina.
The MIAs observed a center console vessel entering Villa Marina and approached the vessel conducting an inspection of the vessel and the captain.
A Puerto Rico Police Department canine alerted positive to the presence of narcotics inside the vessel.
After an extensive search of the vessel, the MIAs found 20 bricks, which tested positive to the properties of cocaine, inside a hidden compartment.
US Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents arrested the boat captain and assumed custody of the narcotics and vessel for investigation and prosecution.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior.