SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) law enforcement authorities, working in support of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), seized approximately 3.2 kilograms (7 pounds) of cocaine during a joint law enforcement operation this weekend.
On Sunday, June 2, while participating in a joint operation in support of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were assisting Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) agents in performing non-intrusive inspection of passengers on board the ferry Cayo Norte, which arrived from the municipality of Culebra. During the non-intrusive inspection of the ferry passengers' luggage, a PRPD canine alerted to a bag belonging to a female passenger. She was traveling with a friend, and both consented to a search of their belongings. Each passenger had a bag that was searched, and inside each bag officers found a plastic-wrapped brick, which subsequently field tested and reacted positive to the properties of cocaine.
Carmen Rivera Perez, 27, and Neyshma Carmona Arizmendi, 20, both citizens of the United States and residents of Culebra, were detained and transported to a Puerto Rico Police Department station. The approximately three kilograms of cocaine were seized and transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Héctor Ramírez-Carbó.
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.