FAJARDO, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents, along with the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) worked together to seize 419 pounds (190 kilos) early Thursday morning. The narcotics have an estimated street value is $4.75 million.
“This is a good example of how Air and Marine Operations conducts dynamic operations, leverages its many capabilities, and works closely with its partner law enforcement agencies when the need arises. This demonstrates how Air and Marine Operations, Customs and Border Protection serves the public,” said Southeast Region Executive Director John Priddy. “I am proud of the work our crews did here.”
Ebrain Orta-Serrano and Francisco Correa-Marcado will make initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Marshall Morgan on a criminal complaint charging them with the possession of a schedule I controlled substance with the intention to distribute, in violation of federal law.
On May 6, 2020, a Puerto Rico Army National Guard Helicopter flying in support of the AMO Fajardo Marine Unit detected suspicious activities near the shoreline of the Maternillo ward of Fajardo.
The MIA’s conducted an investigation on a residence suspected of narcotics smuggling. A PRPD K-9 alerted positive to the scent of narcotics around a vehicle parked in front of the residence.
Agents requested from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico a search warrant and arrested the two defendants.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is in charge of the investigation of the case. Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Zenon prosecuting.
The defendants face imprisonment for 10 years to life.
A complaint is merely a charging document, and it is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
“Our AMO crews will continue to protect and serve the citizens of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands even during this pandemic,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
The mission of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations is to safeguard 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 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, Air and Marine Operations uses its sophisticated fleets to detect, sort, intercept, track and apprehend criminals in diverse environments at and beyond U.S. borders.