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  4. AMO Agents Interdict Near Desecheo Island a Vessel Attempting to Smuggle 13 Bales of Cocaine

AMO Agents Interdict Near Desecheo Island a Vessel Attempting to Smuggle 13 Bales of Cocaine

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AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico— US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents intercepted Wednesday a vessel with two occupants transporting 13 bales of cocaine west of Desecheo Island.  The weight is 851 pounds (386 kilos), which is valued at $7.17 million. 

13 Bales Cocaine in Desecheo PR

“It is a methodic and sustained effort to interdict vessels that attempt to bring contraband into our shores” stated Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.  “AMO agents use their maritime domain awareness to detect and stop them.”

On Nov.9, a AMO Multirole Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) crew detected a “yola” type vessel with one engine and two persons onboard, navigating without navigational lights west toward Desecheo. The MEA maintained visual contact with the vessel and contacted the crew of a Mayaguez Coastal Interceptor vessel to intercept. 

Marine Interdiction Agents approached the “yola” which failed to heave fleeing at a high rate of speed and one occupant commenced to jettison bales from their vessel.

After a brief pursuit the vessel was intercepted, and agents arrested two (2) adult males claiming to be Dominican Republic nationals. A total of seven bales were recovered from inside the vessel.  The AMO crew recovered a total of six bales that were thrown overboard finding bricks with a white substance that field tested positive for the properties of cocaine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) took custody of the individuals and the contraband for prosecution.

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.

  • Last Modified: November 10, 2022