San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized Thursday 73 kilograms (161 pounds) of cocaine and six kilograms (13.23 pounds) of heroin concealed within two bags inside a container arriving from Caucedo, Dominican Republic.
During an enforcement operation June 28 at the Port of San Juan, CBP officers were assigned to inspect all containers arriving on board the vessel M/V COLUMBA.
Using a CBP X-ray platform, all the selected containers were scanned and various containers were randomly selected for a more thorough inspection.
CBP officers opened one of the containers selected for inspection and found two bags containing 56 packages of cocaine and four packages heroin. Both drugs tested positive to cocaine and heroin during a field test.
"We are increasing enforcement operations on all inbound containerized cargo arriving from the Dominican Republic and other known drug trafficking source countries that arrive into our seaports to detect and intercept drugs," said Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for San Juan and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "This seizure is an example that our strategy is working and we must continue doing this to stop drug smuggling."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took custody of the contraband. The investigation is ongoing..
CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk cargo, including advanced electronic information about every cargo shipment to the U.S. before it arrives. We use strategic intelligence, anomaly analysis and even the relative security of a shipper or importer's supply chain is evaluated.
CBP's dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband. CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of U.S. law.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.