CBIG, CCSF Law Enforcement Authorities Seize 154 kilos of Cocaine off the North Coast of Puerto Rico; Two Aliens Arrested
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) law enforcement authorities, working in support of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), arrested 2 smugglers, seizing a boat and a drug shipment of approximately 154 kilos (339.5 pounds) of cocaine during a maritime interdiction early Friday evening off the northern coast of Dorado, Puerto Rico.
The estimated street value is over $3.7 million.
Near midnight Thursday evening, a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) marine patrol aircraft detected a suspicious22' single-engine "yola" type vessel traveling east without navigational lights about 10 nautical miles north off the coast of Dorado, Puerto Rico.
The CBP marine patrol aircraft contacted Puerto Rico Police Department Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish Acronym) marine units, patrolling with a CBP Border Patrol agent onboard, to interdict the suspect vessel.
Upon noticing their detection and a FURA Police unit starting pursuit, the individuals on the suspect vessel started to throw bales to the water, landing in a beach within the municipalityof Dorado.
CBP Border Patrol Agents and FURA Police agents searched the Dorado beach and arrested 2 individuals, who claimed to be citizens of the Dominican Republic.
A FURA Police marine unit recovered 6 bales containing an undetermined number of bricks of suspected narcotics. A field test proved positive for cocaine.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents took custody of the narcotics for further investigation.
The two aliens will be charged with violation of Title 8 United States Code, Section 1326 for re- entering after being previously removed.
This is the second incident near the coast of Dorado in a 30 day period where Federal and State authorities prevent a smuggling event. On the evening hours of Thursday April 12, CBIG law enforcement arrested six Dominican smugglers and seized 322 pounds of cocaine and 19 pounds of heroin off the northern coast of Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) is an initiative of the United States Attorney's Office created to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Caribbean. CCSF is a part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that investigates South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics utilizing the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States. The initiative is composed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, ICE HSI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Coast Guard and PRPD's FURA.
CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney ' s Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation's Caribbean borders.
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.