San Juan, Puerto Rico - Four individuals landing a boat in the southern coast of Puerto Rico were caught and arrested by Customs and Border Protection's U.S. Border Patrol agents and the Puerto Rico Police Department yesterday after landing with a load of 918.7 kilos (2,025 pounds) of cocaine.
Border Patrol agents observed a 33-foot Eduardoño-type vessel with two outboard engines reaching the shores of Tuna Beach in the town of Maunabo, requesting immediate assistance from Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym) agents.
Border Patrol and FURA agents found 33 bales containing 811 bricks of cocaine as well as a Ford Expedition with 15 gasoline containers.
Three individuals claiming to be from the Dominican Republic were arrested; Cecilio Mercedes-De La Cruz, Jose Miguel Guzman-De Los Santos and Victor Manuel Carela.
The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $22,950,000.
The vessel, subjects, vehicle, and contraband will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for prosecution and disposition.
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.