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Puerto Rico Cops Find $15.6 Million Worth of Cocaine on Fishing Boat in Cabo Rojo

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SAN JUAN — Authorities in Puerto Rico say they found cocaine worth an estimated $15.6 million on a fishing boat off the southwestern coast.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) against and Puerto Rican police searched the boat after stopping it off the town of Cabo Rojo. On board they found more than 1,300 pounds (601 kilograms) of cocaine.

The Border Patrol said in a statement today that authorities arrested two men from the Dominican Republic who were on board the 28-foot boat.

“We work daily with our Stonegarden partner FURA to stop smuggling attempts in different locations throughout the island,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent in Aguadilla.

A FURA marine unit encountered a twin-engine 28-foot Contender vessel operated by two men, near Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. FURA requested assistance from Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents after stopping the vessel.

Border Patrol and FURA agents searched the vessel finding bales of suspected narcotics. The two men, who claimed to be citizens of the Dominican Republic, were arrested.

Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) assumed custody of the contraband, the arrested aliens and the vessel, worth $70,000, for investigation and prosecution.

“We will not let down our guard. We won’t stop. We have been doing it and we will continue joining efforts and resources against drug trafficking in the Caribbean,” stated Acting Special Agent InCharge for the DEA, Reinaldo Lopez. “Expect to see more results like this on in the near future. Inter-agency efforts have been excellent and we’ll continue to achieve great results.”

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 Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic has long been used as a smuggling route for migrants and drugs.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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