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Friday, December 2, 2022

Coast Guard Offloads $20 Million in Cocaine Following Drug Bust Near Puerto Rico

The cutter Donald Horsley crew apprehended the two men and seized 33 bales of cocaine.

The Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley crew and Drug Enforcement Administration special agents offloaded approximately 1,000 kilograms of seized cocaine at Coast Guard Base San Juan Monday, following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea near Puerto Rico.

This interdiction is the result of multi-agency efforts involving the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force. The seized cocaine has an estimated wholesale value of approximately $20 million dollars.

During a routine patrol Wednesday, the crew of a Customs and Border Protection multi-mission enforcement aircraft sighted a suspect vessel near Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Donald Horsley that arrived on scene and interdicted a 35-foot go-fast vessel. The vessel was carrying two men, Dominican Republic nationals, and multiple bales of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine. The cutter Donald Horsley crew apprehended the two men and seized 33 bales of cocaine.

“This case highlights the Coast Guard’s unwavering resolve and that of our fellow partners to interdict drug smuggling vessels at sea and safeguard the nation’s southernmost maritime border,” said Capt. Gregory H. Magee, Sector San Juan commander. “These partnerships are key to achieving to protecting our citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from drug trafficking and other smuggling threats in the Caribbean.”

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents received custody of the detainees and the seized contraband, and they are leading the investigation into this case.

Cutter Donald Horsley is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the maritime borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling threats. The Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigations are also integral partners of the CBIG.

The CCSF is an initiative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office created to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Caribbean. CCSF is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that investigates South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics using the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States. The initiative is composed of HSI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Coast Guard, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Police Department’s (PRPD) Joint Forces for Rapid Action.

Read more at USCG

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