Operation Stonegarden partners seize 1,522 pounds of cocaine in Puerto Rico
1 Dominican Republic national arrested
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – With Operation Stonegarden situational awareness and intelligence, the Puerto Rico Police Department’s Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym) seized Tuesday 1,522 pounds (690 kilos) of cocaine, with an estimated value of $19.3 million, off loaded near the shore of the town of Maunabo, in the southeast of the island.
After an extensive search U.S. Border Patrol Agents and Puerto Rico Police Officers found a man, who claimed to be a Dominican Republic national, and 24 bales of narcotics that tested positive to cocaine.
“This is evidence of the extraordinary results that Operation Stonegarden can achieve through sustained collaboration and a grant investment,” state Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Patrol Agent for the Ramey Sector.
The Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG) is designed to enhance cooperation and coordination from the U.S. Border Patrol with local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the border.
OPSG funds were allocated based on risk-based prioritization using a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Sector-specific border risk methodology. Factors considered included, but were not limited to, threat, vulnerability, miles of border, and other border-specific “law enforcement intelligence,” as well as feasibility of Operation Orders to designated localities within the United States Border States and territories.
For Fiscal Year 2016 the Puerto Rico Police Department FURA units received a grant totaling $310,000 to support their collaborative operations with the U.S. Border Patrol.
The case was turned over to the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) for further investigation and prosecution.
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.