Aguadilla, Puerto Rico- A US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) maritime patrol vessel intercepted yesterday afternoon a vessel with 10 bales with totaling 300 kilos/ 661.37pounds of cocaine about 50 miles north of the coast of Aguadilla.
Around 2:30 p.m., a Maritime Surveillance Aircraft from the CBP Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, spotted a vessel, described as a blue twin engine fiberglass vessel of approximately twenty-five feet in length, heading on a southeasterly course at approximately ten knots.
Two CBP marine interceptors, with Puerto Rico Police FURA agents on board, were launched to intercept the vessel along with a CBP medium lift helicopter who provided coverage for the marine units during the intercept.
Upon obtaining visual contact with the suspect vessel, persons on board started throwing large bales overboard, forcing one marine unit to stop pursuit to recover the packages in the water.
After a short pursuit the vessel yielded to the CBP marine unit.
Eight bales were recovered from the water and two bales onboard the vessel for a total of 10 bales of contraband. Five subjects, who claimed to be citizens of the Dominican Republic, were arrested.
The bales contained 254 bricks of a powdery substance which field tested positive to cocaine. The estimated value of the seizure is at $6.3 million dollars.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations assumed custody of the narcotics and the five individuals, for further investigation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.