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  4. CBP Interdicts Vessels in Culebra and Vieques Islands Seizing 136 Bricks of Cocaine in Separate Incidents

CBP Interdicts Vessels in Culebra and Vieques Islands Seizing 136 Bricks of Cocaine in Separate Incidents

Release Date
Thu, 05/04/2023

Three male US Citizens arrested

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico— US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and Border Patrol agents, along with Puerto Rico Police, have seized 136 bricks of cocaine and arrested three individuals, in two separate incidents occurring, Wednesday in Culebra, and today in Vieques.  The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is approximately $3.1 million.

Cocaine Fajardo May 2024

On May 3, during a routine patrol, the crew of an AMO aircraft located a vessel without navigation lights meeting another vessel, without lights, near Savanah Island, in ST. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The vessel encounter was brief and both vessels immediately separated.

The aircraft followed the vessel navigating west reaching the “Las Pelas” area in the island of Culebra.  As the vessel remained adrift away from a dock, an AMO Coastal Interceptor vessel approached and detained the captain.

Agents found inside a duffle bag containing 23 bricks of cocaine and arrested the vessels’ captain, a US Citizen. 

At the Fajardo Boathouse, AMO agents handed custody of the contraband and the individual to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents for investigation and prosecution.

On May 4, an AMO aircraft detected a lights-out vessel navigating from St Thomas to Vieques, Puerto Rico.  Two AMO Coastal Interceptor vessels reached and pursued the vessel who failed to heave. 

The three vessel occupants landed in a Vieques unloading large duffle bags in the brush and went on the run.  BORTAC agents disembarked and gave chase with support from Puerto Rico Police Department and a FURA boat unit.

Agents were able to find and arrest two individuals, seizing 113 bricks of cocaine.  A CAMB ASTAR 350 helicopter crew, is searched the area to try to locate the third individual.  The two arrestees are adult males, US citizens with domiciled in Vieques.

The subjects and contraband were transferred over to the custody of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

BORTAC and the AMO National Air Security Operations Center in Grand Forks, ND, were assisting local operations.

Last Modified: May 04, 2023