U.S. Border Patrol, Operation Stonegarden Partners Apprehend 65 Aliens and Seize 42 pounds of cocaine in Puerto Rico
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico –U.S. Border Patrol agents, along with Operation Stonegarden partners, apprehended 65 aliens and seized 42 pounds (19 kilos) of cocaine, during two separate incidents on Sunday and Monday. The estimated value of the narcotics is $481,250.
““We continue to work with our local partners to respond to smuggling attempts through our coastal borders. Keeping our communities safe continues to be one of our major priorities and we encourage everyone to assist us in our mission. If you see something suspicious, call us,” indicated Xavier Morales, Chief Patrol Agent of the Ramey Sector. “Although we prepare for inclement weather, the Border Patrol does not close or cease operations.”
On. Aug. 26, a Border Patrol agent detected a “yola” type vessel navigating towards the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico, contacting a marine unit of the Puerto Rico Police Department Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish Acronym) and a CBP Caribbean Air & Marine Operations coastal interceptor.
The vessel was intercepted about six miles west of the city of Aguadilla, finding a total of 28 aliens (24 males / two females / two unaccompanied juveniles males) all from the Dominican Republic. Inside the vessel agents found a duffle bag containing 14 bricks of suspected narcotics, which tested positive to the properties cocaine.
On Aug.25, FURA agents detected a vessel approaching the “Combate” beach in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, in the island’s southwestern coast.
Border Patrol and the US Coast Guard responded to the location and in a joint effort, all the people on board the smuggling vessel were apprehended.
USCG transported the group to the Mayaguez Port where Border Patrol agents assumed custody. Aguada, Isabela and Cabo Rojo Municipal Police departments assisted with transportation and perimeter security.
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.
The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector's entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.
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