AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico— US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) found Wednesday 794 pounds (360 kilos) of cocaine concealed inside a vessel intercepted heading to Rincon. The estimated value is $7.5 million.
“AMO agents continue to use their awareness of our maritime context to detect and intercept contraband being smuggled into our coastal borders,” Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
On June 1, Mayaguez Marine Interdiction Agents conducting a patrol approached for inspection a 21-feet center console, Cape Horn vessel with three persons on board, navigating east.
Agents inspected the occupants and escorted the vessel to the Mayaguez boathouse for investigation.
On the shore AMO agents requested assistance from a Puerto Rico Police Department K-9 who alerted to the presence of a smell it is trained to detect.
The AMO agents inspected the vessel finding a hidden compartment containing bricks of a white powdery substance which tested positive for the properties of cocaine.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents took custody of three men and the contraband for prosecution and investigation.
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.