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U.S. Coast Guard Seizes $10 Million Worth of Cocaine Off Puerto Rico’s North Coast

SAN JUAN — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol and Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA) agents seized 884 pounds (401 kilos) of cocaine found inside an abandoned vessel on the coast of the town of Loiza on Monday.  The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $10 million. 

U.S. Coast Guard and CBP Air and Marine assets located a suspected smuggling vessel traveling south towards the northern coast of Puerto Rico. 

U.S. Border Patrol Agents responded to the area of Loiza where the vessel had made landfall.  The abandoned vessel contained foreign food products indicating that the vessel had arrived from a foreign country.

After an extensive search, agents discovered 12 bundles containing 350 bricks, which field-tested positive to the properties of cocaine.

“Ramey Border Patrol Sector has adjusted its presence in key locations around the island, in response to smuggling activity,” stated Xavier Morales, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent in Aguadilla. “Smugglers have the perception that law enforcement decreased its resources during this federal shutdown; however our agents remain vigilant, working 24 hours, seven days a week.”

Border Patrol agents seized the vessel, engine and contraband, handing it over to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for investigation.

With the Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG) FURA and other law enforcement agencies in the island work with the U.S. Border Patrol in a joint mission to secure Puerto Rico’s coastal areas.  

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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