St. Thomas, Virgin Islands- A U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a vessel carrying 10 bales of cocaine, weighing 709.4 pounds, near French Cap Cay this weekend.
Just past midnight Friday, a CBP maritime surveillance aircraft on patrol detected a "yola" type vessel with two outboard engines, center console, and three people on board, traveling on a northwest course without navigation lights.
The vessel was kept under constant surveillance by the CBP aircraft, observing that the vessel stopped in French Cap Cay, where two of the three individuals on board jumped in the water and swam toward the island.
They appeared to be carrying packages to shore. After they finished stashing the packages, they left the island and headed east towards the southern end of St. John Island.
A CBP Marine Interceptor Unit from the St. Thomas Marine and a CBP Helicopter collaborated to intercept the 30-foot vessel, approximately six miles south of St. Thomas. The three individuals on board were detained.
U.S. Coast Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at French Cap Cay and retrieved the ten bales filled with a powdery substance, which later tested positive for cocaine. The drugs weighed 709.4 pounds, with an estimated street value of $8,045,000.
ICE Homeland Security Investigations assumed custody of the narcotics and arrested the three individuals on board the vessel.
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.