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AMO Interdicts Yola with 1,598 Pounds of Cocaine; Three Non-Citizens Arrested

Release Date: 
May 11, 2021

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico—Air and Marine Operations (AMO) marine units intercepted Saturday a 25 foot “yola” type vessel in which three men from the Dominican Republic transported 1,598 Pounds (725 Kilos) of cocaine near the northwestern coast of the island.  The estimated wholesale street value of the seized cocaine is $21.7 million.A display of bales recovered from the vessel.

Our vigilance and sustained collaborative efforts, continue to produce significant results,” stated Hector Rojas, Acting Director of Air and Marine Operations in the Caribbean. “AMO is commitment to safeguard our borders by leveraging our advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities to detect and interdict illegal actors in the maritime environment”.

A Jacksonville Air and Marine Branch (JAMB) Maritime Enforcement Aircraft launched from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) to conduct a border security patrol, located a vessel navigating east approximately 20 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla.

The vessel was a single tiller-driven engine “yola” approximately 25 feet in length with three people on board and appeared to contain multiple packages and barrels.  The aircrew maintained surveillance of the vessel contacting a Mayaguez Marine Interceptor Unit and a UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter crew to support

AMO units recovered 24 bales of suspected narcotics from the water.  A total of 618 bricks of suspected cocaine were inventoried.

The three men and the contraband were handed over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for investigation and 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: 
May 11, 2021