Ramey Border Patrol Sector Stonegarden partners seize 335 pounds of marijuana
Found floating in two separate locations in the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – Using Operation Stonegarden situational awareness and intelligence, Lajas Municipal Police and Puerto Rico Police Department’s Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym) seized yesterday a total of 335 pounds (152 kilos) of marijuana found floating in two separate locations in the southwestern coast of the island. The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $267,880.
Intelligence provided by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents prompted an comprehensive surveillance of the southwestern coast from the Lajas Municipal Police and the Puerto Rico Police FURA marine units, patrolling their respective areas.
At around 4pm, the Lajas Municipal Police found a burlap sack containing what appeared to be narcotics, nearby Punta Tacón, Lajas. Inside they found large blocks which field tested positive to marijuana. The total weight of the contraband was 50.82 Kilos (112.05) pounds valued at $89,640.
Meanwhile around 5pm, a FURA-Cabo Rojo marine unit found two burlap sacks containing what appeared to be narcotics nearby Bahia Salinas, Cabo Rojo. Large blocks were found inside both sacks which field tested positive to marijuana. The total weight of the contraband was 101.06 Kilos (222.80) pounds valued at $178,240.
Both entities contacted the Ramey Sector Border Patrol for assistance. Border Patrol Agents assumed custody of the narcotics for disposition.
“This is continued evidence of the extraordinary results that Operation Stonegarden can achieve through sustained collaboration and a sound grant investment,” state Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Patrol Agent for the Ramey Sector.
Last month, a Stonegarden led operation resulted in the seizure of 2,513 pounds (1,140 kilos) of cocaine and the arrest of 14 undocumented nationals of the Dominican Republic, by Puerto Rico Police Department FURA officers, off the shore of the town of Loiza, in the northeastern coast of the island. The estimated value of the contraband was approximately $32 million.
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 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 FY 2014 Operation Orders to designated localities within the United States Border States and territories.
Since 2009, the Lajas Municipal Police has received several grants totaling $ 433,238 to support their collaborative operations with the U.S. Border Patrol. In the meantime, FURA has received $490, 228 from 2014.
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.