FAJARDO, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized 25 pounds (11.4 kilos) of cocaine in a backpack concealed inside the center console of a private vessel arriving at the Las Croabas boat ramp on Wednesday. The estimated wholesale value of the seized narcotics is $175,000.
“AMO crews dedicate many hours in the maritime environment to detect and deter smuggling attempts within a very complex environment,” said Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations.
A nAMO Fajardo Marine Unit interceptor crew conducted an interview with the operator of a vessel arriving at the Las Croabas public boat ramp. The vessel had navigated from Culebra Island despite very rough seas conditions. Do to the suspicious nature of the voyage agents conducted a thorough dockside interview with the operator of the vessel.
A CBP K9 alerted positive to the presence of narcotics near the center console of the vessel, and subsequently alerted positive to a backpack inside the center console. A search of the backpack revealed 10 bricks of powder that field-tested positive for the properties of cocaine.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) assumed custody of the boat operator, 10 bricks of suspected cocaine and the vessel for further investigation.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. 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.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.