US Border Patrol and Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents, along with Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA) collaborated to seize 5,294 Pounds (2,402.11 Kilos) of cocaine in two separate incidents over this past weekend within southeastern coast of the island. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $ 67.5 million.
“The great work executed by Air and Marine Agents and alongside our law enforcement partners, is just another reminder that CBP Air and Marine Operations is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people,” stated Hector Rojas, Director of Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
On Aug. 2, an AMO Maritime Patrol Aircraft crew detected a vessel navigating north 14 miles south of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The crew contacted an AMO Fajardo based marine unit and maintained surveillance of the vessel.
The AMO marine unit was able to intercept a white 25foot Spyder type vessel 2 miles west of Vieques. Two vessel occupants were arrested, and agents found fifty (50) bales of cocaine. The total weight of the seized contraband is 3,307 Pounds (1,500 Kilos).
On July 31, Ramey station Border Patrol agents detected a suspect vessel contacting a FURA Cobra vessel to coordinate an intercept. FURA located the vessel which made landfall near Guayanes beach in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.
Inside a 25-ft blue fiberglass vessel with one 75-HP engine, FURA officers found 30 bundles containing 750 bricks of contraband and several fuel containers. The total weight of the seized contraband is 1,987 Pounds (902.11 Kilos).
“The amounts seized in these interdictions demonstrate that Transnational Criminal Organizations seek to exploit different locations throughout our area to smuggle narcotics,” indicated Xavier Morales, Chief Patrol Agent for the Ramey Border Patrol Sector. “Our sustained collaboration makes for an effective response to take these narcotics out of our streets.”
Homeland Security Investigations assumed custody of and the contraband for investigation and prosecution.
Last month Border Patrol and FURA seized a haul of cocaine worth $4.6 million near Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico..
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. 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.
The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector’s entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.